Governor Abbott, THECB Announce Chair Of Healthcare Workforce Task Force

May 2, 2024 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) today announced Victoria Ford as Chair of the THECB Healthcare Workforce Task Force. The task force will address healthcare workforce shortages in order to meet the demands of our growing state and provide students with the tools they need to succeed.
“With almost three decades of experience in healthcare policy and administration, Victoria Ford is the right choice to lead this task force and help address the workforce shortages in this crucial industry,” said Governor Abbott. “As the fastest growing state in the nation, it is important that we have a knowledgeable expert like Victoria at the helm to help find solutions and expand our vital healthcare workforce to meet the healthcare needs of Texans. I look forward to working with her as we build an even bigger, better Texas for all.”
“Victoria Ford brings a wealth of expertise in healthcare to this committee, and we look forward to the innovative solutions that will come out of the Healthcare Workforce Task Force in the fall,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Harrison Keller. “As Texas continues to grow, we must meet the demand for more robust, cutting-edge workforce education, with new solutions and resources for healthcare education.” 
"Texas healthcare workers are unsung heroes, and I am honored to have the opportunity to work with the task force on this complex and challenging issue," said Ford. "It's important for all Texas patients to have confidence that they receive the highest quality care. There should not be any unnecessary barriers for those interested to be able to work in these important fields."
Victoria Ford of Austin is President and CEO of Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute and has over 29 years of Texas public policy and administration experience. In her most recent role as Chief Policy and Regulatory Officer at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Ford managed over 2,200 employees across five divisions which were responsible for regulating health care facilities, streamlining business processes and programs, enhancing data and analytics, and more. During her tenure at the agency, she also held the Acting Chief Operating Officer role twice, providing operational support to more than 38,000 employees. She spent nearly 12 years as a government affairs advisor for K&L Gates a worldwide law firm helping Fortune 500 corporations in the health care and other economic sectors, small businesses, and non-profit organizations in navigating the executive and legislative branches in Texas. She has also held several leadership and advisory roles at organizations such as the Child Advocacy Centers Association of Texas and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. During her tenure in the Office of Governor Rick Perry, Ford held various roles related to health and human services policy, including senior advisor and deputy legislative director. Ford also worked as Legislative Director for members in both the Texas House of Representatives and Texas State Senate. Ford received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Public Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Last month, Governor Abbott directed THECB to create a task force to provide opportunities and remove barriers that exist to expand healthcare programs at institutions and provide students with the tools necessary to succeed in this field in Texas. Additionally, the task force will investigate challenges to establishing and maintaining sufficient clinical rotation sites and clinical placements, and identify best practices to attract and retain qualified clinical instructors. The task force shall issue a report by October 1, 2024.