Carolina Health Workforce Research Center

Focus: Defining and measuring value in the health workforce

If the health care system in the United States is to transition from volume to value, we are confronted with the challenge of structuring the workforce in a way that delivers value. The Carolina Health Workforce Research Center (HWRC) seeks to address this challenge by conducting and disseminating timely, policy-relevant research on emerging health workforce topics related to defining and measuring value in the health workforce. Our projects focus on developing new data sources and methods to investigate the value of different skill mix configurations in new models of care. For example, we are working to understand the skill mix needed to provide medication assisted therapy for office-based opioid treatment in primary care settings and assessing the feasibility of using electronic health records to determine which health professionals address the social determinants of health. Numerous projects focus on developing metrics and toolkits that state and federal policy makers can use to improve the transparency and accountability of public funds invested in health workforce training. We are also undertaking studies to understand and measure the plasticity—or flexibility—of the workforce to move between specialties, employment settings and roles as new payment and care delivery models emerge.


CHWRC’s mission is to conduct and disseminate timely, policy-relevant research defining and measuring value in the health workforce. As policy makers debate budgets at the state and national level, they will need to articulate the value of health workforce investments, an area of inquiry that has been largely unaddressed in past discussions about paying for value in the health care system.

CHWRC products are used by federal agencies, such as the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis, practitioners, healthcare consumers, employers, insurers, educators, and state and local agencies. The CHWRC also responds to specific requests for information from local, state and national policymakers.


The CHWRC is directed by Erin Fraher, PhD, MPP who also directs the Program for Health Workforce Research and Policy at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, UNC.

Contact Us

Carolina Health Workforce Research Center
Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
CB# 7590
725 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7590