workforce needs stress health care delivery

The Southwest Florida economy is experiencing a rapid change in population and the subsequent need for health care services. Collier and Lee counties, one of the fastest growing areas in the state of Florida, have seen population growth of approximately 20 percent to approximately 28 percent, respectively, since the 2010 census. According to The Office of Economic and Demographic Research for the State of Florida, population growth is projected to increase by 253,000 community members in Collier and Lee counties by 2035. Looking closely at the health care needs of our community, we note that 30 percent of our community members are over the age of 65; The percentage of this demographic is also increasing.

Emergency departments at Lee Health hospitals worked at full capacity as the Omicron COVID-19 variant swept through Southwest Florida.
Cristina Volpicelli

This increase in demand for health care services adds to an already strained health care delivery system where housing insecurity and other complex social challenges compound the challenges of the workforce. One of the biggest forces of change in our growing community is the nursing shortage that threatens our ability to provide access to care for people in our communities. Where danger exists, opportunities are presented, and one of these incredible opportunities is partnering with the Future Makers Alliance at The Collaborative.

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