New Research on Health Equity and Health Workforce Diversity

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From the NPO

The Learning Collaborative is gearing up for its next in-person meeting on March 24-26 in Scottsdale, AZ. At this meeting, we will use data gathered by our demonstration sites to construct a prototype of the metrics dashboard – one of the primary deliverables of the Urban Universities for HEALTH project. We will also review and select some of the sites’ accomplishments for publication and dissemination, so that we can better share our work with other universities. Please stay tuned for updates regarding these publications and additional events in April.

Funding Opportunities

The AAMC AHEAD (Accelerating Health Equity, Advancing through Discovery) Initiative has issued a call for proposals. The initiative aims to build an evidence base of effective policies and practices that improve community health and minimize health inequities. The RFP will fund three AAMC-member institution projects over three years to evaluate the impact of their existing medical-legal partnerships on community health measures, cost savings to the health system, and learner outcomes. Applications are due March 20, 2015.

Nursing scholars may be interested in the Distinguished IOM Nurse Scholar in Residence program, which provides a year-long residential leadership opportunity in health policy in Washington, DC. Applications are due April 1, 2015.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced the Awards for Eliminating Health Disparities program, which recognizes individuals who have successfully implemented systems changes related to the determinants of health. Ten national non-profit membership organizations or associations will be chosen to administer the awards programs. Organizations must have experience with systems change in areas that influence health outcomes. The deadline for proposals is April 14, 2015.

The Missouri Foundation for Health has issued an open call for concept papers proposing time-limited, outcome-focused approaches designed to address a pressing community health need. Funding varies based on the need identified in the proposal. Concept papers will be accepted through April 20, 2015.

Nominations for a number of AAMC awards are due May 1, 2015find out more.

The NIH has announced that training and research project grants and an institutional training grant are available to enhance predoctoral and postdoctoral research training and education to ensure that a diverse and highly qualified workforce is available to address the nation’s biomedical and social sciences research agenda. Applications for both competitions are due September 25, 2015.

News

The deans of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, and the University of Kansas School of Medicine convened in front of students, faculty, and community leaders to highlight their commitment to multicampus collaboration and sharing best practices in medical education.  

Dean Greer Glazer, Co-PI from the University of Cincinnati for Urban Universities for HEALTH, was re-elected to the board of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released its Budget “In Brief” for FY 2016. Highlights include a 4% increase in funding for NIH and $14 million for a new Health Workforce Diversity Program within HRSA.  However, the Title VII Health Careers Opportunity Program and Title VII Area Health Education Centers program (AHEC) would be eliminated.

In Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder has proposed a 2016 budget calling for repeal of all state funding for graduate medical education (GME) – which will also result in the loss of matching federal funds.

A study published in the Journal of Higher Education found that public medical schools affected by bans on race-conscious admissions experienced a 17 percent decline in the share of first-time matriculants who were black, Hispanic, or Native American, a figure in keeping with studies of the impact of such bans on selective undergraduate programs, graduate programs, and law schools.

On the same topic, an opinion piece written by Harvard Graduate Jeff Yang criticizes the recent lawsuit filed against Harvard University for its race-conscious admissions practices and argues that the suit is politically motivated. Yang states that holistic review has helped students from all backgrounds succeed in higher education, and that getting into college is about “more than just scores.”

An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education suggests that simply filling the pipeline with students from diverse backgrounds won’t be enough to diversify STEM fields. According to a recent study of biomedical Ph.D.’s, underrepresented minorities and women showed disproportionately low interest in pursuing an academic career at a research university upon completing graduate school. The study’s lead author noted that getting more people into the system was “a laudable goal, but it takes the attention away from the structural elements that have a profound impact on career choice."

A new report entitled Double Jeopardy: Gender Bias Against Women of Color in Science describes how Black and Latina women scientists are routinely discriminated against – including being mistaken for janitors.

A study from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce finds that despite the nationwide nursing shortage and strong interest in nursing careers, nursing schools can’t expand quickly enough to admit as many students as they would like. The study highlights nursing faculty shortages as a persistent problem underlying schools’ inability to expand.

Ricardo Azziz, president of Georgia Reagents University, authored an op-ed in the Huffington Post suggesting that universities should apply lessons learned from the health care industry toward their efforts to measure apparently unmeasurable student success outcomes such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and civic engagement. The experiences of health care providers, who have already developed methods to evaluate health care quality and patient outcomes, may be instructive to university leaders.

Upcoming Events

Early registration ends March 31, 2015 for the USU Summer Meeting, which will take place June 15-16 at Cleveland State University.

The Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools (HSHPS) are holding a professional development workshop aimed at junior faculty, post-doctoral students, and doctoral students interested in research careers that focus on Hispanic health disparities. The workshops will be held June 28-30 in Bethesda, MD.

Save the date for the Anchor Institutions Task Force (AITF) Annual Conference. The meeting will take place in New York City on October 29-30.

Publications and Resources

The Latino physician shortage has worsened over the past 30 years according to research published in Academic Medicine. At the national level, the number of Latino physicians per 100,000 people dropped from 135 to 105, and the same trend occurred within five states examined by the researchers. The authors recommend immediate action on the national and local level to increase the supply of Latino physicians.

Also in Academic Medicine, a survey finds that 30 percent of LGBT medical students reported hiding their sexual and gender identity due to persistent fear of discrimination. The researchers stressed the need for physicians to lead the way in fostering a higher level of diversity and inclusion in the field of medicine.

Two perspective pieces in the New England Journal of Medicine addressed the “White Coats for Black Lives” die-ins, the largest coordinated protests at US medical schools since the Vietnam War era. David Ansell and Edwin McDonald reflect on the impact of discrimination and systemic bias on health disparities. Mary Bassett, New York City’s health commissioner, highlights the lack of action to address issues of racism and health, and proposes three courses of action for health professionals: critical research, internal reform, and public advocacy.  

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