The American Immigration Council released new research, The Growing Demand for Healthcare Workers in Utah, which underscores the crucial role immigrants play in some of the state’s fastest growing and most in demand healthcare fields.

“Utah recognizes the incredible contributions of our immigrant communities, as evidenced by the work at the Utah Immigration Assistance Center at the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity,” said Ryan Starks, executive director of the Economic Opportunity office. “As a state and across agencies, we’re working to maximize the talents and contributions of New Americans. This report highlights the opportunities to make strategic priorities in policy and practice to reduce brain waste and increase healthcare professionals’ pathways to work in Utah.”

“It is essential to support and encourage international talent in the healthcare sector, as this can help bridge the gap in the shortage of qualified professionals,” said Dr. Gracelyn Brito, President & Co-Founder of the Utah Hispanic Dental Association. “By welcoming diversity, we can improve the quality of healthcare services and address disparities in underserved communities. It’s up to leaders to create a welcoming environment for international professionals and eliminate any obstacles that prevent them from contributing to the healthcare system. As an Internationally trained Dentist myself I believe we have skillsets that can give back to our community and eradicate this raising problem.”

“As communities across Utah, and across the nation, continue to face gaps in care due to healthcare worker shortages, many immigrants who have received specialized education, licensing, and training internationally that would qualify them to help meet these needs today are instead facing barriers that keep them on the sidelines,” said Leani García Torres, Chief of Staff at the American Immigration Council. “Innovative policies that attract and retain talent and create career pathways for internationally trained healthcare professionals can help Utah address growing healthcare needs, especially in rural counties, and ensure all residents have access to quality care.”


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