Nationwide Study Shines Light on How Qualified Veterans are Blocked from Critical Vacancies in Healthcare Across the Country
In advance of Veteran’s Day, The Call of Duty Endowment, a non-profit organization helping veterans find high-quality careers by supporting groups that prepare them for the job market, announced the release of its White Paper, “Veterans Stand Ready to Fill Critical Healthcare Vacancies.” This new report examines the extent by which veterans are blocked from serving our vulnerable healthcare system by obtaining basic Emergency Medical Training (EMT) licenses, which often serve as a key entry point for a career in the healthcare industry. It outlines clear policy solutions to tackle two broader and persistent problems at once: connecting unemployed and underemployed military medical professionals with jobs while impacting the dire civilian need for their skills.
An introductory video for the report can be found here, and the full report can be viewed and downloaded here: http://callofdutyendowment.org/medics.
The U.S. response to COVID-19 shined a spotlight on the significant understaffing of medical personnel. As the pandemic persists far into 2021, these staff shortages rage on. The Call of Duty Endowment estimates there are tens of thousands of veterans with extensive medical training who are eager to fill these jobs, but are blocked by bureaucratic regulations and poor state agency communications from doing so.
“The ‘army’ we need to confront COVID-19 has been here all along. Half of former medics and hospital corpsmen who want to work in the civilian medical profession cannot find jobs in the healthcare industry, despite at a minimum, having received more than $100K in medical training and years of clinical experience,” said Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director of the Call of Duty Endowment. “Every veteran that is out of work represents an incredible lost opportunity for our country. The best way our leaders can thank a veteran is to cut the red tape so they can do what they do best — help our country get back on its feet.”
Alarmingly, the research demonstrates that most states/territories are falling short of providing straightforward and clearly conveyed pathways to allow qualified and medically trained military personnel to enter work in the civilian healthcare field as EMT’s. In fact, in ten states veteran medics and hospital corpsmen who want to become EMTs must start entirely over, as if their previous military training was non-existent. However, there are six states that provide clear pathways of opportunity for medically trained veterans, therefore reaping vast ranging health benefits for the communities they serve. Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, and North Carolina are the states that are models for the rest of the nation.
The report provides policy solutions for each of the states and territories that currently have unnecessary barriers to EMT certification that face former medics and hospital corpsmen. First, regulations must be streamlined so that every state/territory only requires three elements for their EMT licensing: a current National EMT Registry Certification, proof of honorable military service as a medic or corpsman, and a background check. Second, states and territories must clearly communicate their necessary EMT licensure information by ensuring that they are easy to find, up to date and comprehensible.
In response to the Call of Duty Endowment report, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper pledged to continue to provide pathways for veterans to serve in their state’s healthcare industry.
“Arkansas is a military-friendly state, and that’s especially good news for Arkansans when it comes to providing frontline medical care. Ex-military medics and hospital corpsmen bring a level of training, experience, expertise, and dedication that will shore up our response system. I am committed to streamlining the process so that we put their talents to use for the benefit of Arkansas. As this report notes, the army we need to fight COVID-19 is in place. We just need to let them work.” – Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas
“As the pandemic swept across North Carolina and our nation, one steadying and encouraging resource was our nation’s military. Our response was a clear call to duty for active service members and veterans to help us through this medical crisis. I am proud to represent and serve the more than 720,000 veterans who call North Carolina home. We owe these veterans, servicemembers, and their families a debt of gratitude for sacrificing to protect our freedom. We should recognize the invaluable skills and experience these men and women earned while serving by providing medically trained veterans with a clear pathway to continue their service in our hospitals, clinics, and emergency medical services operations -- for them and for the well-being of all North Carolinians.” – Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina
About the Call of Duty Endowment
The Call of Duty Endowment is a non-profit organization co-founded by Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. The Endowment seeks to help veterans find high-quality careers by supporting groups that prepare them for the job market and by raising awareness of the value vets bring to the workplace. For more information about the Call of Duty Endowment, please visit www.callofdutyendowment.org.
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