Washington, D.C. – The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) is proud to announce the creation of the new ACU National Center for Workforce Development & Training. Offering comprehensive training, technical assistance, and consultation in all aspects of healthcare workforce development, ACU’s National Center will unite and expand the organization’s diverse workforce initiatives within a single national authority.

“ACU has long led the way in supporting and strengthening the clinical and non-clinical healthcare workforce, but the challenges facing our community have only grown more acute,” said Amanda Pears Kelly, ACU’s Executive Director. “An unprecedented need requires an unprecedented solution, and the National Center will fill the need for a leading authority to help guide our community and all those caring for the underserved with innovative approaches and best practices to better achieve our shared vision: the establishment of a robust and diverse workforce to help transform communities to achieve health equity for all.”

Building on ACU’s nearly three decades of experience supporting clinicians and organizations caring for underserved communities, the National Center will offer new programs, trainings, and technical assistance to cultivate excellence in workforce retention, recruitment, and well-being, as well as resources to support clinicians and other members of the healthcare workforce in support of efficiency and optimization. The Center has been built to support health centers, primary care associations, and health center-controlled networks as well as the broader healthcare organizations caring for medically underserved communities. It will also serve as the hub for ACU’s myriad of existing workforce initiatives, including:

“The National Center is really the culmination of our evolving strategic priorities to lead advocacy, clinical, operational, and equity excellence to develop and support clinicians and the healthcare workforce caring for America’s underserved communities,” said Dr. Doug Olson, MD, President of ACU’s Board of Directors. “Through the Center, ACU’s diverse workforce initiatives will speak with a single voice—one guided by the experience of our community and an encompassing emphasis on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.”

April LewisACU’s National Center will be led by renowned trainer, speaker, and longtime health center advisor April Lewis, a thought leader on health center workforce well-being, management, and executive strategy. Supported by expert faculty and staff, the National Center will provide vital support to clinicians serving on the frontline of the health center workforce and offer organizations resources and guidance in all elements of workforce retention and recruitment—from shaping pathways to recruiting a more resilient, diverse, and multifaceted workforce to better meet the needs of communities to advancing psychological safety and justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion for greater well-being and retention.

“We are thrilled to have April Lewis at the helm our new National Center,” said Suzanne K. Speer, Vice President of Workforce Development at ACU. “As passionate as she is strategic, April has presented countless national, state, and organizational workforce trainings, and her 15+ years of health center and leadership experience have granted her outstanding knowledge of the needs of the healthcare workforce and the vital need for greater employee well-being.”

The National Center begins its operations in April 2024. For more information about or to request assistance from the National Center, visit www.nationalworkforcecenter.org. For press inquiries, contact Amanda Pears Kelly, ACU Executive Director, at apearskelly@clinicians.org.

About ACU

The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) is a uniquely transdisciplinary membership association uniting clinicians, advocates, and organizations in the commitment to establishing a robust and diverse workforce to help transform communities to achieve health equity for all. Founded in 1996 by participants in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), ACU is the foremost advocate for the NHSC and leads advocacy, clinical, operational, and equity excellence and supports the healthcare workforce caring for America’s under-resourced populations. To learn more about ACU, visit www.clinicians.org.

National Center for Workforce Development & Training

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For questions about the new ACU National Center, please contact our Executive Director Amanda Pears Kelly.