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Critical World-Wide Shortage of Healthcare Workers to be Examined at Health Summit; NYU Nursing Conference Tackles Key Unrecognized Problem in Global Health

October 3, 2011
N-52, 2011-12

NYU Nursing Conference Tackles Key Unrecognized Problem in Global Health

Why does global health workforce matter?  The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4.3 million nurses, midwives, doctors and public health workers are needed in low- and middle- income countries in the next two decades to fill the projected human resource gap.  Of the children under the age of 5 who die each year, almost 2/3 could be saved by health workers in clinics and in their communities. 

In September, 2011 members at the UN General Assembly, committed to tackle the unprecedented rise in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle- income countries--80% of the world’s deaths from NCDs occur in these settings. An adequate health work force is a fundamental prerequisite for strong and efficient health systems.  Many of the 28.8 million deaths could have been prevented if these countries had more health care workers to prevent, diagnose and treat these conditions.

The foundational problem in global health— the world-wide dearth of a skilled and motivated health care workforce – will be the subject of a major conference organized by the NYU College of Nursing.

New York University College of Nursing Global (NYUCN Global) hosts “Strengthening 21st Century Global Health Systems: Investing Strategically in the Health Care Workforce,” Thursday, October 13, 2011, 11:15 am - 6:00 pm at McKinsey & Company, 55 East 52nd Street, 21st Floor, between Park and Madison Avenues, NYC.

The goal of the Summit is to bring private foundations and new funders into the conversation on improving global health by investing in the health care workforce.   Philanthropy in global health has typically not targeted workforce development as part of health system strengthening, but rather has historically supported disease-specific initiatives with minimal investment in the health care workforce as essential infrastructure.

The Summit will serve as platform for active exchange to identify workable strategies to strengthen human resources for health and to spark investment and action by interested funders, foundations and institutions.

Objectives of the Summit:

  • Articulate a range of strategic investments that have potential to efficiently strengthen the global health care workforce
  • Present, discuss and learn from evidence-based strategies for health workforce development
  • Strengthen partnerships and scale-up collaborations and commitments among funders and organizations that can effectuate health workforce strengthening

Strategies for Engagement:

  • Convene leaders of foundations, funders and select public and private organizations
  • Draw on lessons learned from health care workforce initiatives
  • Build lasting partnerships
  • Encourage collaborations around regional and national focused initiatives
  • Catalyze implementation of strategic health care workforce initiatives


Keynotes by:
  • Julio Frenk, MD, MPH, PhD-- Co-Chair, Global Commission on Educating Health  Professionals for the 21st Century, and Professor, Harvard University
  • Dr. Ann Phoya, RNM--Director, Sector Wide Approach Secretariat, Ministry of Health -- Malawi
  • Francisco Eduardo de Campos--Physician, Public Health Specialist, University Professor Coordinator, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte -­ Brazil
Speakers include:
  • Ed Wood--President, Clinton Health Access CHAI
  • Amie Batson--Deputy Assistant Administrator for Global Health, USAID
  • Carolyn Miles--President, Save the Children
  • Dr. Agnes Soucat- Director, Health, Education &  Social Protection, African Development Bank
  • Jeffrey Sturchio --Senior Partner, Rabin Martin; Recent President, Global Health Counci
  • NYUCN Summit Co-Chairs: Ann E. Kurth, PhD, CNM, FAAN and Marilyn A.  DeLuca, PhD, RN

 For full conference details, please see the brochure (pdf) here

To contact the Summit organizers, please email

For reporters interested in covering or attending the conference or conducting interviews please contact Christopher James at 212-998-6876 or

About the New York University College of Nursing

NYU College of Nursing is a global leader in nursing education, research, and practice.  For more information, visit

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
College of Nursing

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: Christopher James | (212) 998-6876

Critical World-Wide Shortage of Healthcare Workers to be Examined at Health Summit

"Without extra skilled hands, available everywhere, in the form of health workers, the supply of vaccines, delivery of medicines and access to critical services...will not be possible. We know what policy solutions are effective. It is time to back this knowledge with the right level and the right type of investment." --Dr. Mubashar Sheikh, 2011, Executive Director, Global Health Workforce Alliance

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