PORTLAND, Maine – The New Mainers Resource Center (NMRC) at Portland Adult Education (PAE) has released a report with findings and recommendations aimed to reduce the barriers that foreign trained health professionals face in obtaining employment in the healthcare field.

“Our findings show that doctors, nurses and other health professionals who have been trained and worked in another country face many hurdles to working in their professions in Maine,” states Sally Sutton, New Mainers Resource Center Program Coordinator. “Unfortunately, there is not one quick and easy fix to this problem. It is our hope that with the recommendations in this report, we have helped to lay the framework for the wide range of steps that those involved in Maine’s healthcare workforce system need to take.”

The recommendations from this report come at a critical time as Maine’s healthcare systems struggle with COVID-19 and disparity in health continues among minority populations. Establishing quicker and more cost-effective pathways for immigrant healthcare professionals to return to practice could result in a significant increase in the diversity and cultural competency of the state’s healthcare workforce, which is one way to begin addressing these health disparities.

Implementation of the recommendations in the report will address the state’s need for healthcare workers in a number of ways. Implementation of the recommendations will:

●      Help foreign trained healthcare workers reach their highest potential

●      Address the state’s goal to achieve a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce

●      Meet the needs of healthcare employers, and address the state’s healthcare workforce shortages

●      Attract skilled healthcare workers to Maine.

Funding for the Foreign Trained Health Professional Licensing Pilot Project research came from the Maine Health Access Foundation.

Implementation of the recommendations of this report will help to guide the future direction of  Portland Adult Education as it seeks to build on its current work, expertise, and role as Maine’s Welcome Back Center.  It will also build on the health professional training and workforce partnerships and initiatives that already exist at Portland Adult Education. Expanded support and investment in this program will provide Maine with a more coordinated and better-funded healthcare sector workforce approach to better serve both new Mainer healthcare professionals and healthcare employers.

“By combining these efforts into a coordinated, sector-focused program, Portland Adult Education will be better able to achieve its vision of a program that serves any immigrant or refugee who has previously been a healthcare professional, or who wants a career in the healthcare field, by providing the guidance, support, training, and opportunities necessary to achieve their desired position,” states PAE Executive Director, Anita St. Onge.

For copies of the report go to:

Report of the Foreign Trained Health Professional Licensing Pilot Project


For more information contact:

●      Sally Sutton, NMRC Program Coordinator, [email protected], 207 370-9616

●      Anita St. Onge, PAE Executive Director, [email protected], 207 671-7920