History and Mission

The Center for Health Workforce Studies at University of Washington (UW CHWS) was established in 1998 with funding from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). It is based in the Research Section of the Department of Family Medicine, part of the University of Washington School of Medicine.

UW CHWS houses multiple research programs spanning the health and health care system. We examine a broad range of settings and occupations including those in rural and urban locations. We conduct research at the state, regional, and national levels.

Our mission is to elevate the importance of workers of the health workforce in policy discussions. To accomplish our mission, UW CHWS:

  • Conducts health workforce research to inform health workforce planning and policy.
  • Provides consultation to local, state, regional and national policy makers on health workforce issues.
  • Develops and refines analytical methods to support health workforce planning.

Our portfolio of research includes two of nine Health Workforce Research Centers (HWRCs) across the U.S. funded by the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis at HRSA. Each HWRC focuses on a specific aspect of the health workforce. UW’s HWRCs are addressing 1) the allied health workforce and 2) health equity and health workforce diversity.

Within the state of Washington, we identify and respond to changing employer demand for healthcare workers through the Health Workforce Sentinel Network. We also track the oral health workforce through the Washington Oral Health Workforce program.