To build a bridge between the pool of internationally trained health
workers living in California
and the need for linguistically and culturally competent health services in
Welcome Back is a statewide initiative offering counseling and educational
programs to internationally trained health professionals. This includes
assistance in obtaining appropriate licenses, credentials, orientation and
job placement to work in the US health care system, and
development of US-specific leadership, management and advocacy skills among
immigrant health professionals.
becomes the most diverse state in the Nation, the Welcome Back Centers are
very excited with the opportunity to work with its immigrant communities
and build on their many assets.
One of the challenges currently facing the health sector is the lack of
culturally and linguistically diverse health professionals. This is
especially true for the "safety net", community based and public
health clinics and health services agencies who are often times the sole
providers of health services for immigrant communities. It is well known
that important aspects of care, such as treatment adherence and patient
satisfaction improve significantly when we narrow the cultural and
linguistic gap between the health services providers and their patients and
clients. This is true for all health professionals: social workers, nurses,
dentists, doctors, nutritionists, pharmacists, psychologists, etc.
This is the fundamental premise behind the Welcome Back Initiative:
becoming a part of the solution. By assisting internationally trained
health professionals in the process of re-entering the health workforce, we
will be infusing the health system with a cadre of culturally and linguistically
diverse workers that will allow the health sector to provide better
What exactly is Welcome Back?
It is a statewide initiative funded by The California Endowment to assist
internationally trained health professionals living in California. San
Francisco and San Diego received
funding to establish a center in their respective counties.
What Services will Welcome Back
Our centers will provide orientation, counseling and support to
internationally trained health care workers. The centers will assist each
individual in developing a career path plan that builds on their skills,
experience and education. In addition to orientation and support in
obtaining the appropriate professional credentials and licenses for their
profession, participants will be presented with other options or
alternatives to consider. These options may include, choosing a different
health occupation offered through a Community College or State University
or focusing their skills and experience in the areas of health care
management, research, advocacy or policy.
What else will Welcome Back Centers
An important aspect of the Welcome Back Initiative is the evaluation
component. The actual number of internationally trained health care
professionals living in California
is not known. The Welcome Back Initiative seeks to learn the number of
these health professionals in California, what their professions are and
what have been the barriers that professionals have experienced in trying
to practice their profession or enter the health care delivery sector. The
Welcome Back Initiative seeks to engage internationally trained health
professionals in identifying solutions and making policy recommendations
that address the barriers they have experienced. An example of a solution
could be the development of "fast track" programs within colleges
and universities that realistically credit professionals education and
experience, is of short term duration and affordable, and leads to a
license to practice the profession. The active involvement of participants
in developing possible solutions and policy recommendations is key for the
success of the initiative.
The Welcome Back Program does not have the capacity to respond to inquiries outside of the United States.