Four UU-HEALTH Demonstration Sites Honored for Diversity Efforts


From the National Program Office

Congratulations to the four UU-HEALTH demonstration sites that have recently been awarded the Insight into Diversity 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award for health professions schools! The University of Cincinnati, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of New Mexico, and SUNY Downstate were recognized for their substantial contributions to diversity in higher education.

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center reported that it has dramatically increased faculty diversity after completing a two-year pilot of a new mentoring program, Advancing Institutional Mentoring Excellence (AIME). Twenty-seven percent of all faculty in the School of Medicine are faculty of color, compared to only 16 percent in 2002. The effort is linked to UNM’s Vision 2020 goal to help New Mexico make more progress toward health and health equity than any other state.

SUNY Downstate and the SUNY University at Albany have jointly received a Best of New York award for their collaboration tool designed to share health-disparities research and scholarship between the two institutions. The Health Disparities and Inequalities Collaboration Platform (HDIC) enables faculty, researchers, and clinicians at Downstate and UAlbany to communicate, access real-time information, and share ideas and resources.

University of Cincinnati College of Nursing Dean and UU-HEALTH Co-PI Dr. Greer Glazer has joined the Board of Directors of The Sullivan Alliance to Transform the Health Professions. According to Sullivan Alliance chairman and CEO Louis Sullivan, “Dr. Glazer’s strong leadership skills and deep engagement in diversity efforts will be a tremendous asset to our efforts to increase diversity across the health workforce.”


Funding Opportunities

AAMC has called for applications from member institutions to participate in a series of workshops focused on building a systems approach to community health and health equity. Applications are due on October 28.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is now accepting applications for its Health Policy Fellows program for 2017-2018. Up to six awards of up to $165,000 will be made to exceptional midcareer health professionals and behavioral and social scientists with an interest in health and health care policy. The deadline to apply is November 15.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has announced the Hanna H. Gray Fellows Program for early career scientists from groups underrepresented in the life sciences. Each fellow will receive funding for up to eight years, with mentoring and active involvement within the HHMI community. The deadline to apply is February 15, 2017.

The Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR) and the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) announced a small grant program to develop problem-based case studies aimed at deepening health professions students’ understanding of the significance of social determinants of health (SDOH) and how to incorporate information and insights about SDOH into their work. Four awards of up to $6,000 each will be awarded to faculty or faculty teams to develop a case study with a learner assessment and facilitator guide. Applications are due October 25.



A new analysis published in Nature shows that the field of personalized medicine may be leaving minority populations behind – and missing out on a significant portion of the world’s genetic variation. Data from the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute shows that less than 4% of samples come from “individuals of African and Latin American ancestry, Hispanic people (individuals descended from Spanish-speaking cultures in central or South America living in the United States) and native or indigenous peoples.

The NIMHD has formally designated sexual and gender minorities (SGM) as a health disparities population for research purposes. Abundant evidence demonstrates that these populations have less access to health care, receive poorer quality care, have lower life expectancies, and disproportionately suffer from certain diseases.  In addition, a recent study found that nearly 40 percent of transgender Americans have experienced discrimination by health care providers in clinical settings.

Despite new evidence that students feel more motivated and supported by faculty of color, diversity in the professoriate continues to be a challenge for many universities.  Marybeth Gasman, director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions, published a compelling essay in the Washington Post about why colleges don’t hire more faculty of color: they simply don’t have the will to do what works. Read her essay, and the responses to it.

The higher education community continues to discuss various interventions for improving student success. The University of Maryland Baltimore County is rolling out a new data analytics program designed to synthesize information about persistence, completion, and graduation across the institution. An essay in Inside Higher Ed argues that institutions need to do more to foster three experiences that shape students’ motivation to stay in college: self-efficacy, sense of belonging, and perceived value of the curriculum. Finally, cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham (University of Virginia) proposes similar interventions but adds that students must be taught time-management and study skills as early as possible – preferably during their K-12 years.


Upcoming Events

17th Annual UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity Symposium, November 2 in Los Angeles, CA

Learn, Serve, Lead 2016: The AAMC Annual Meeting, November 11-15 in Seattle, WA

2016 APLU Annual Meeting, November 13-15 in Austin, TX


Publications and Resources

A new toolkit series from the Democracy Collaborative, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is designed to help hospitals and health systems build community wealth through inclusive hiring, investment, and purchasing. The first toolkit in this series is Inclusive, Local Hiring: how hospitals and health systems can create jobs and careers for local communities. Subsequent installments on purchasing and investment will be released later in 2016.

Two new National Academies of Sciences (NAS) reports have been published. Exploring the Role of Accreditation in Enhancing Quality and Innovation in Health Professions Education summarizes the proceedings of a Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education workshop. This workshop aimed to explore global shifts in society, health, health care, and education, and their potential effects on general principles of program accreditation across the continuum of health professional education.

The Private Sector as a Catalyst for Health Equity and a Vibrant Economy examines successes and future opportunities for public-private partnerships to further health equity. The report identifies three areas where the private sector has potential for impact: fostering economic opportunity (including workforce development), creating healthy work and community environments, and improving employee health.

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