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SAMHSA's Efforts

Workforce Development is one of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA's) Priority Programs. As such, SAMHSA has responded to the workforce development crisis in a variety of ways. Most recently, SAMHSA , with input from a wide rage of people and organizations, publicized a national workforce plan, Strengthening Professional Identity: Challenges of the Addictions Treatment Workforce. This report, prepared by Abt Associates, Inc., is based on a review of current research and detailed discussions from nine stakeholder meetings convened by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) from January through May 2004. It describes the workforce development issues and trends and recommends workforce development strategies.29

In conjunction with these recommendations, SAMHSA has developed several resources to help people, agencies, and organizations implement programs and practices in their communities. SAMHSA also continues to strive for improved prevention and treatment services based on evidence-based practices. 

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) produced a landmark report, Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 2st Century, which concluded that the U.S. health caresystem needs fundamental change. Report recommendations included a framework and strategies for achieving substantial improvements, including six approaches to improve health care and ten rules to guide the redesign of the health care system. In 2005, the IOM report, Improving the Quality of Health Care for Mental and Substance-Use Conditions: Quality Chasm Series, included a dedicated chapter discussing the need to increase substance use and mental health workforce capacity for quality improvement.35


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