Skip to main content

Bowen Center Newsletter


State Loan Repayment Program

Loan repayment is a strategy used by states and employers to recruit and retain health professionals in areas of need. Indiana has a work group dedicated to developing a comprehensive State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) initiative for Indiana. In September 2018, Indiana was awarded federal funding through the National Health Service Corps to operate a state-match loan repayment program.  This program will be operated under parameters determined by federal agencies.  Indiana is exploring the possibility of a state-based program with flexibility to meet state-determined workforce needs. Stay up-to-date on SLRP initiatives via the work groups web page at:

Community Health Workers

Community Health Workers (CHWs) are an entry-level health workforce that serves as a link between the health system and the community. CHWs work in many roles, under various job titles (including: recovery coach, navigator, maternal child health worker, case manager, etc.) Indiana is formalizing this workforce and will be offering a voluntary state certification for CCHW (Certified CHW) that will be required for Medicaid reimbursement. It was recommended that state certification be administered by the Indiana State Department of Health and go into effect in 2019. Stay up-to-date on CHW initiatives via the work groups web page at:

Addiction Counseling

The opioid crisis requires an all hands on deck approach. A recent report found that many licensed, certified, and unregulated occupations are authorized to provide addiction counseling in Indiana. These individuals are trained at varying educational levels and practice in a variety of settings, serving in a cadre of roles. Enhancing the availability and accessibility of addiction counseling training for various workforce and audiences may be an effective strategy to “skill up” the health workforce and increase access to addiction counseling services for Hoosiers struggling with addiction disorders. Read our recent addiction workforce report ( and subscribe to our mailing list to learn more.

Grand Challenge: Workforce and Capacity Assessment for People Referred to Treatment Post Hospital Discharge

by: Robin Newhouse, PhD, RN, IU Distinguished Professor and Dean of IU School of Nursing

This study is funded by IU Grand Challenge: Responding to the Addictions Crisis

When people are admitted to hospitals, screening for substance use is standard assessment. When risky substance use is present, a brief intervention should be delivered and the person referred to treatment if indicated – but treatment is often not accessible. A study is underway to: 1) describe the referral to treatment patterns across 14 Indiana University Health acute care hospitals, 2) assess the workforce, capacity and availability of treatment services in the market area of each hospital for people with at risk alcohol and drug use, and 3) develop and test a web-based resource that provides information regarding local referral networks. A survey of treatment faculties is underway that will provide a description of the workforce (e.g. physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists) currently deployed to inform optimization of workforce distribution to promote access to care.

Evaluation: Emergency Medicine Graduate Medical Education Expansion

In the spring of 2018, the Bowen Center collaborated with the Department of Emergency Medicine to contribute to their feasibility study for the development of an Emergency Medicine (EM) Graduate Medical Education (GME) expansion program. Between May and August, the Bowen Center conducted a workforce needs assessment for EM physicians actively practicing in Indiana. Using the 2017 Physician Survey License Masterfile, the Bowen Center developed summary statistics and a complete report which provided recommendations for the expansion of the EM GME program. Of note is the finding that 26 counties in Indiana have no reported EM capacity. The complete results from this report will be published at the completion of the feasibility study.

The Results Are In! Occupational Licensing Reviews

As the U.S. health system moves toward value-based care, services that bridge the gap between health/social services and the patient will become increasingly important to effective care delivery. Community health workers (CHWs) are a health workforce that serves as a link between health care and the community. The Governor’s Health Workforce Council established a CHW workgroup in winter 2017 to formalize the CHW workforce in Indiana, a workforce that was previously undefined. The CHW Workgroup underwent a “sunrise” process to consider appropriate policies for this profession. Occupational sunrise review is complex and necessitates alignment of multiple policies and perspectives (including: education, licensing, supervision, employers, and reimbursement). This work was done in concert with a Medicaid reimbursement initiative for CHW-delivered services (patient education, preventive services, and cultural brokering), which went into effect July 1, 2018. Recommendations for CHW regulation were adopted by the Council in Fall 2018 and will be implemented in Spring 2019. Stay tuned for more information on the implementation of a state certification process for CHWs.

A Word From Our Partners

by: Fred Payne, Commissioner, Indiana Department of Workforce Development

I have been honored to serve since May as chairman of the Governor’s Health Workforce Council, which was created in 2014 and is charged with coordinating health workforce-related policies, programs and initiatives. The goal is to reduce costs, improve access and enhance quality within Indiana’s health system, in addition to developing data-driven health workforce polices to grow the state’s health workforce. The council brings together state agencies and legislators, as well as health care and industry leaders, to tackle such issues as health care provider shortages. On a related note, I represented the state of Indiana at the National Academy for State Health Policy annual meeting, held in August in Jacksonville, Florida. The National Academy for State Health Policy is a nonpartisan forum of policymakers throughout state governments that help lead and implement innovative solutions to health policy challenges. As commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, it is a privilege to be involved in shaping health policy at such a high level!

Team Member Spotlight

My name is Chipo Chavanduka, and I am a Graduate Research Assistant at the Bowen Center for Health Workforce Research & Policy. I am pursuing a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology at Indiana University Purdue University in Indianapolis. I began working for the Bowen Center in January 2018 assisting with the data team. During the past year at Bowen, I have gained new skills and experiences as well as applied concepts from my coursework to real-world data. I recently completed my internship project requirement with the help of my preceptor Sierra Vaughn. I have a new perspective on how I can make a difference when I begin my career as a public health professional. I enjoy cooking and traveling in my free time. I traveled to Sweden this past summer for a study abroad course where I studied their health care system and immersed myself in the Swedish culture.

“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.”

– Margaret Shepard

How Can We Assist You

Looking for data or technical assistance? The Bowen Center for Health Workforce Research & Policy provides stakeholders with critical information on Indiana’s health workforce that can be used for evaluation, original research and reporting. Contact us today to discuss how we may assist you!

Give Now

Philanthropic support helps to advance research in the Bowen Center for Health Workforce Research & Policy and the Department of Family Medicine that will benefit Hoosiers throughout Indiana. Your gift also supports the training of the next generation of physicians who benefit from the expertise of our dedicated faculty. For additional information about the various ways to give, please contact Ken Scheer at 317.278.2122. Gifts to the Department of Family Medicine can be made online by clicking “Give Now” at Thank you for making a difference!