Healthcare Workforce Alliance of Central Texas

Our Mission

The Healthcare Workforce Alliance of Central Texas (hwACT) is a community-sponsored and industry and education led group that exists to collectively address the workforce needs of the healthcare industry in Central Texas.

hwACT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

hwACT utilizes a collaborative approach to close the gap between employer demand for a diverse, trained healthcare workforce and the workforce in need of training and preparation to enter healthcare fields.

Working through various committees, our work starts with engaging young people with an interest in health careers to pursue their dreams and includes direct support for programs through college.

The high school students attending our Nursing Academy also observe medical units at local hospitals as part of their high school course work. We coordinate clinical rotations for nursing and other allied health professions at local hospitals and develop and update community standards to support safety in rotations. Staff members also help with resource development and other strategies which support high school and college healthcare education programs.

 

About Us

Members

St. David's HealthCare

Seton Healthcare Family

Central Texas Medical Center

City of Austin

Travis County

Workforce Solutions Capital Area and Rural Capital Area

Texas AHEC-Capital Area

Capital IDEA

Austin Community College District

Concordia University at Austin Schol of Nursing

South University School of Nursing Austin Campus

Texas A&M University Health Sciences School of Nursing

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Anita Perry School of Nursing

Texas State University Round Rock St. David's School of Nursing

Universirty of Texas Austin School of Nursing

Austin ISD

Bastrop ISD

Del Valle ISD

Dripping Springs ISD

Eanes ISD

Hays ISD

Lake Travis ISD

Lockhart ISD

Manor ISD

Pflugerville ISD

Round Rock ISD

 

Leadership

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors oversees the work of the organization. Representatives include volunteers from both industry and education.
 

Co-Presidents
Geronimo M. Rodriguez, Jr.
Vice President, Advocacy and External Affairs
Seton Healthcare Family

Sheila Fata, BSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC
Chief Nursing Executive
St. David's HealthCare


Secretary and Treasurer
Sally Foster, RN, BSN, MA
Academic Affiliation and Student Placement
Networking Nursing Education

Seton Healthcare Family


Education Representatives
Kathryn Lauchner, Ph. D., RN
Dean of School of Nursing
Concordia University Texas

Patricia Recek, MSN, RN
Executive Dean, Health Sciences
Austin Community College District

Nan Walters, MSN, RN
Assistant Dean, Health Sciences
Austin Community College District


Community Partner Representative
Steve Jackobs
Executive Director
Capital IDEA, Austin
Ex-Officio

Initiatives

We sponsor a number of member activities throughout the year. The following is a short summary of each effort.

Nursing Academic Practice Partnership Subcommittee: The latest collaboration among our clinical and higher education partners is maintaining our 15-year tradition of bridging the gap between education and practice. Alliances are forged and maintained in these meetings and support efforts to improve nursing education and the transition to practice both here in Central Texas and throughout the state.

Members of the committee are focusing on the perioperative nursing shortage. hwACT sponsored a pilot Surgical Nursing Academy at Austin Community College in January of 2017. Click here to watch a video of the academy. Future plans include a Perioperative Nursing academy that will include all member schools of nursing and hospitals.

Allied Health Subcommittee: This group launched its work by supporting the Austin Area Research Organization's Workforce Potential Project study. The group completed a survey to identify the demand for workers in a number of healthcare professions. This group is ad-hoc so no meetings are scheduled at this time, but please let us know if you would like to participate.

Central Texas Centralized Clinical Scheduling Subcommittee and Scheduling System: Using StudentMax(TM), our coordinator works with colleges and high schools to develop a coordinated schedule of placements which all members can access and view online. Please use our contact form to let our staff know if you are interested in viewing this tool and/or participating.

Community Standards for Clinical Rotations: Developed, implemented and updated by our Clinical Rotation Subcommittee, this initiative means that schools can comply with one set of standards for criminal background checks, uniforms, drug screening and more, and be in compliance with requirements at all of our clinical partner sites.

Nursing Academy: Cosponsored and staffed by volunteers from our higher education and high school partners, clinical partners, workforce partners and local Area Health Education Committee, this annual event is for students in local health science technology classes. Students submit an application and spend half a day learning about nursing careers, financial aid options and visiting with nursing students. The nursing students and volunteer nurses then accompany the students as they participate in hands-on simulationsin a local simulation lab.

Secondary School Subcommittee: This subcommittee provides a forum for high schools and local industry representatives to discuss the demand for workers in various health careers, to identify issues that impact capacity in local programs and to develop resources to address these issues.

 

High School Teaching

Teach High School Health Science Courses in Central Texas Schools

Our Secondary School Subcommittee has identified a shortage of healthcare professionals, particularly nurses with bachelor's level degrees, as a barrier to growing or even maintaining their programs. High school students gain valuable insight into healthcare careers and some earn college credit or certifications.

If you have this level of training, enjoy working with young people, and are interested in a career change, teaching health sciences may be for you. School districts offer good benefits and holidays, often pay for certification, offer some incentives for experience and will work with you in making the career change.

We will post links to specific jobs as we receive them. In the meantime, we've listed the job sites for all of our member districts.

Please visit and explore a teaching career. Central Texas schools need you!

Austin Independent School District

Bastrop Independent School District

Dripping Springs Independent School District

Eanes Independent School District

Georgetown Independent School District

Hays Consolidated Independent School District

Leander Independent School District

Manor Independent School District

Pflugerville Independent School District

Round Rock Independent School District

 

Membership

Industry
Industry partners benefit from participation in forums that inform the quality and availability of healthcare workers. The Alliance supports them by coordinating clinical schedules, developing community standards for placements, facilitating funding proposals, and providing forums for interaction with local schools, colleges and nonprofit organizations.

Education
We serve both secondary and post-secondary schools. Our work includes scheduling clinical rotations, sponsoring a nursing academy for high school students, providing staff support for events and supporting forums to connect industry and education.

Community and Government Organizations
The Alliance supports healthcare workforce efforts by connecting industry and education to the greater community. Both benefit from efforts to keep up with current trends and to predict future needs for healthcare workers.


Types of Membership

Affiliate Members are invited to attend semi-annual meetings and may participate in special projects by invitation. Meetings include educational presentations by local healthcare experts, data sharing and updates on industry and education partner initiatives.

Advisory Members are full partners in all projects, participate in the subcommittee structure, and enjoy the benefits of our clinical rotation scheduling system. For education members, this benefit is for those that have affiliation agreements with industry partners and corresponding staff support. Members may also receive staff support for research and grant writing.


 

 


Workforce Solutions Capital Area is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available, upon request, to persons with disabilities. Relay Texas: 1.800.735.2989 (TDD) / 711 (Voice).

Equal Opportunity is the Law