Andy MacCracken joins the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC) Program effective February 26, 2024 as the Director of the NC Center on the Workforce for Health (the Center). The Center focuses on developing and deploying comprehensive strategies to address the state’s worsening health care worker shortages.

With more than a decade of experience in public policy, advocacy and research, Andy has dedicated his career to bringing together diverse constituencies to address complex problems and create positive outcomes.

“I’m honored to join the NC Center on the Workforce for Health to tackle our state’s urgent health care workforce challenges,” Andy said. “The Center is where health professionals, employers, educators and policymakers come together to build the workforce needed to support a healthy North Carolina, today and in the future. I look forward to collaborating closely with such a committed community of stakeholders.”

Photo of Andy MacCracken smiling in a button-up shirt and blazer.

Andy comes to the Center from the North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office (NCPRO), which was tasked with overseeing and coordinating the state’s economic response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. There he led policy initiatives, including analysis of $110 billion in recovery funds and managing more than $200 million in programs supporting the state’s education, workforce and health needs through grants from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Prior to NCPRO, Andy consulted for education organizations in North Carolina, including the NC Office of Strategic Partnerships, The Hunt Institute, and EducationNC. Previously, he co-founded and served as executive director of the National Campus Leadership Council (NCLC), a national policy organization focused on aligning postsecondary policy with the needs of today’s students. NCLC trained and supported Student Government Association presidents on more than 500 campuses and helped launch major initiatives with the White House to support student loan borrowers, prevent campus sexual assault, and boost Affordable Care Act enrollment among young adults.

“We are thrilled to welcome Andy to the AHEC team. As the first full-time director of the Center on the Workforce for Health, Andy has the vital role of shaping the Center’s long-term vision and defining immediate priorities,” said Hugh Tilson, executive director of NC AHEC. “Andy’s skills and experience are the perfect fit to drive the work of the Center to produce the outcomes we need – the right workforce, in the right places, doing the right work to help everyone in North Carolina be healthy.”

Andy has a Master of Public Administration and a BA in Political Science, both from American University in Washington, DC, where he served as student body president. He serves on the boards of directors of the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle and the KJS Legacy Foundation and volunteers with various civic engagement organizations.

Andy lives with his wife and daughter in Cary. He plays music, enjoys exploring the outdoors, and catches Durham Bulls games whenever he can.

What is the NC Center on the Workforce for Health?

In early 2021, NC AHEC, NCIOM, and the Sheps Center Program on Health Workforce Research and Policy began developing a concept for a statewide center focused on the collaborative and comprehensive development of North Carolina’s workforce for health. The NC Center on the Workforce for Health will provide a forum for health employers, workers, educators, regulators, policymakers, and others throughout North Carolina to convene, discuss challenges and opportunities, share best practices and lessons learned, identify potential solutions and metrics for success, and monitor progress toward addressing these challenges. North Carolina’s historic, persistent, and worsening health workforce shortages can best be addressed through intentional, transparent, and collaborative engagement by the communities interested in solving those problems.

The Center is partnering with the NC Chamber Foundation to establish the Health Talent Alliance (HTA) which will deploy Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) across the state.