Learning Collaborative shares what we do (and don’t) know about diversifying the workforce


From the National Program Office

Members of the Learning Collaborative and Learning Partners Network convened at Cleveland State University last month to share emerging evidence from Urban Universities for HEALTH. Participants discussed the potential for bringing evidence-based interventions to scale across the university and in other disciplines, and identified gaps in knowledge where further research will be needed. Topics included institutional success, campus climate, admissions, minority student success, faculty hiring and success, and cross-institutional partnerships. Members of the Learning Partners Network will continue these conversations over the coming months with the aim of developing an action plan for further research on institutional strategies that may improve diversity in health fields, contribute to a more inclusive campus climate, and reduce health disparities.

Funding Opportunities

Eligible health professions schools may be interested in applying for support through HRSA’s Health Workforce Research Center (HWRC) program. The program supports research that will enhance the government’s understanding of emerging issues and trends in the health care workforce. Applications are due July 23, 2015.
NIMHD has announced a limited competition grant to build capacity and research infrastructure for minority health and health disparities research. Funding cannot be used to support the research projects themselves. Letters of intent are due August 4, 2015, with complete applications due on September 4.
The AAMC and The Patrick Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation have partnered to offer Advancing Implementation Science in Community/Academic Partnered Research, an opportunity for academic medical centers to collaboratively engage in research that has the potential for near-term impact to improve population health outcomes. The research should facilitate collaborations among researchers, community organizations, and health system leaders. Proposals are due October 16, 2015.


The University of Cincinnati College of Pharmacy recently completed a hiring surge to fulfill several partnerships with external organizations. These partnerships will support new research that will benefit local hospitals and underserved communities. So far, the College has added eight new assistant professors with additional openings planned. Neil MacKinnon, dean of the College, called it the “largest ever one-time hiring of new faculty in the history of the college.”
Cleveland State University has received a $5.5 million grant from the Cleveland Foundation to support the NEOMED-CSU Partnership for Urban Health. This is the largest gift the partnership has received and will fund education of health professions students in primary care to reduce health disparities in underserved Cleveland communities.
NPR social science correspondent Shankar Vendantam shares new research on the efficacy of medical school efforts to recruit a diverse student body in the wake of several state bans on race-conscious admissions policies.
On a similar note, the Supreme Court has decided to revisit the use of race in admissions by agreeing to re-open the case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.
In Cuyahoga County, Ohio, a new partnership has released a plan to address poor health and health inequities in the region.  Unlike many other public health efforts, the plan will address structural and institutional racism as well as factors specific to geography.

Publications and Resources

A new article in Nursing Outlook explores how a holistic admissions process may increase diversity among nursing students and professionals, and how the process itself can be used as a catalyst for institutional change.
As part of AAMC’s Diversity 3.0 Learning Series, Chief Diversity Officer Marc A. Nivet Ed.D. interviews Howard Ross, Founder & Chief Learning Officer of Cook Ross and author of Reinventing Diversity: Transforming Organizational Community to Strengthen People, Purpose and Performance. In this video, Dr. Nivet and Mr. Ross explore how and why diversity efforts plateau at institutions, what role unconscious bias plays in these situations, and discuss how to mitigate unconscious bias to increase the success of diversity initiatives.

Click here to have our e-newsletter delivered to your inbox.