News from our demonstration sites, resources for LGBT-competent care, and more


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From the National Program Office

As the year draws to a close, the Learning Collaborative is focused on publishing some of our findings to date, including a vetted list of community health priorities (expected January 2015), an infographic on how to establish a university’s Geographic Scope of Impact (GSI), and additional publications related to the study on holistic admissions.

Our demonstration sites continue to make headlines:

The University of New Mexico completed an assessment of their region’s behavioral health resources, finding that “the community would achieve better access and mental health outcomes by developing intermediate- and community-based levels of care, rather than building additional inpatient acute care capacity.” UNM also participated on a Health Care Work Force Task Force which reported to the New Mexico State Legislature, requesting recurring funding for at least nine additional physician residency slots. A certificate program for community health workers will also start up this spring in partnership with local community colleges.

President Ronald M. Berkman from Cleveland State University appeared on CNN Newsroom last month to discuss college affordability and to share information about the University’s Graduation Incentive Plan, which provides students with a 2 percent tuition rebate and $200 stipend for textbooks if they complete 30 credits per year in good academic standing.

The University of Cincinnati College of Nursing was recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program for 2014–16 for its iCoN Initiative, which creatively leverages iPads as a vehicle for teaching and learning.

Funding Opportunities

The Macy Faculty Scholars Program is inviting applications for their 2015 class of scholars. The program is designed to identify and nurture the careers of promising educational innovators in medicine and nursing.  Scholars will implement new educational innovations at their home institutions and participate in career development activities. Salary support of up to $100,000 per year for two years will be provided, among other benefits. Applications are due February 11, 2015.

NIH has announced a mentored career development award to promote faculty diversity in biomedical research. It is targeted toward researchers who study cardiovascular, pulmonary, and hematologic diseases and sleep disorders in the general and health disparities population.  Letters of intent are due January 18, 2015.


Affirmative action received new challenges last month as two lawsuits filed in federal courts sought to block Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from considering race in admissions. Both lawsuits were filed in reaction to the Supreme Court’s opinion last year in the Fisher case. A related article discussed the role of alleged discrimination against Asian American students in the lawsuits.

As colleges and universities continue to add chief diversity officers to their top administrative ranks, some have called for a set of professional standards to guide their work. The National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education recently released a list of Standards of Professional Practice for Chief Diversity Officers.

An article in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education describes how nurse practitioners are critical to reducing the nationwide primary care shortage. NPs are also becoming significant providers of primary health care in urban settings, particularly to older people and people with chronic illnesses. 

Dr. Karen Bankston, associate dean at the University of Cincinnati, wrote a compelling op-ed on the need to break down barriers preventing frank discussion of race in order to make progress toward eliminating racial health disparities.

What is the future for community health workers? Alan Weil explores two different paths forward for community health workers, concluding that “we should honor the wisdom and experience of CHWs as they define their future rather than assuming that they will be absorbed into a health care system that is only beginning to learn how to support people in their communities.”

A Health Affairs blog post described how philanthropy is a “game changer” in the fight to eliminate mental health disparities.

Upcoming Events

Learn how to use the National Equity Atlas, an online resource for data and policy ideas to build an equitable economy in your region, state, and nationwide, at a webinar hosted by PolicyLink. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, December 9 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST.

There are two great webinars happening next Thursday! An interprofessional webinar hosted by AACN will focus on how faculty and students are preparing for Ebola across the health professions (Thursday, December 11, 1:00-2:30 p.m. EST).  Directly after the Ebola webinar, you can log on to Building an LGBT Competent Health Workforce: Facilitators and Barriers, hosted by the AAMC (Thursday, December 11, 2:00-3:30 p.m. EST).

On Monday, December 15, 10:00-11:30 a.m. EST the Brookings Institution will hold a live webcast to share findings from a new book, Diversity Explosion, which explores how new racial demographics are remaking America. These include how the population of the United States is diversifying from the bottom up, where minorities are moving, the rise of racial integration, and the political impact of a diversifying electorate.

Save the date for the 2015 Health Datapalooza conference: May 31 – June 3, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Publications and Resources

The AAMC published a resource guide for implementing curricular and institutional climate changes to improve the quality of care for LGBT, DSD, and gender non-conforming patients. A related article in The Atlantic discussed the AAMC guidelines and the ongoing need to address social stigma and discrimination in the health care environment that leads to health disparities for LGBT patients.

Three new reports in Academic Medicine explore different aspects of students’ medical career choices. The first examines the impact of a physician shadowing program on undergraduate premedical students’ career choices, perceptions of careers in medicine, and medical career knowledge. A second report  finds that students from diverse backgrounds value diversity programs, and that investing in such programs can be of benefit to medical schools seeking more diverse and inclusive classes. Finally, a third article finds that students’ interest in family medicine may increase if family medicine role models are ubiquitous and if students become immersed in community-based family medicine preceptorships.

Last, but not least: what is population health? A Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) brief seeks to establish a definitive and comprehensive answer to that question.


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