Summer meeting outcomes, new data from UC, and a surprise research finding


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From the National Program Office

The past few months have been busy and productive for the Learning Collaborative. We held our summer meeting in conjunction with the USU annual meeting on June 23-24. The first day was devoted to our emerging efforts in nursing; we convened more than 30 nursing deans to explore new strategies for universities to improve the diversity and competence of future nurses. Highlights included a discussion on accelerated, competency-based BSN programs for veterans with prior field health experience, and a discussion of promising admission practices for increasing diversity, including holistic admission.  
Demonstration site teams joined us for a health session with USU presidents and chancellors, in which we shared some of our accomplishments from the past year, as well as areas where we are continuing to collect data and improve evidence. Presidents and chancellors participated in a robust discussion around the various ways that universities can improve access to care, improve educational opportunities for students, and increase the capacity of future health professionals to address the social determinants of health.  Photos from both events are available on our Facebook page.

Funding Opportunities

NIMHD is soliciting innovative social, behavioral, health services, and policy research that can directly contribute to the elimination of health disparities. Letters of intent are due July 28 with the full application due August 28, 2014.
NIH will fund a new data coordinating center for multidisciplinary and collaborative research on oral health disparities in children. Cooperative agreement awards are also available as a companion to this FOA. Letters of intent are due November 9, 2014.

Demonstration Sites in the News

Race and ethnicity are a barrier in finding a trusted health provider, according to the new Greater Cincinnati Community Health Status Survey. Four in 10 adults reported that race and ethnicity were a barrier, but African-Americans reported race and ethnicity as a barrier more than twice as often as white Appalachians and nonwhite Appalachians. Reducing these barriers is important because of the documented relationship between patient-provider trust and good health outcomes. “Having trust in this relationship leads to increased patient satisfaction and better compliance with treatment recommendations,” said Greer Glazer, dean of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Nursing and co-principal investigator at Urban Universities for Health at UC.
The University of Cincinnati also released a first-of-its-kind comprehensive regional health care workforce profile, which they commissioned from HealthLandscape, LLC.  The profile revealed significant gaps in available data, demonstrating the need for better data collection mechanisms in order to get a clear picture of the diversity and number of health care providers in the region. The profile is available for download as a PDF.
Steven L. Kanter, M.D., has been appointed dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Kanter is a neurosurgeon, a career physician-educator, and brings to UMKC a strong foundation in the growing field of medical informatics. He will begin his work at UMKC on October 1.
President Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D. of Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) has deepened the university’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by establishing an Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on campus.
Finally, Dr. Karen Bankston and Dr. Barb Tobias from the University of Cincinnati team will be interviewed by a local radio station (91.7 FM, WVXU)  on Monday, July 28 from 1:00-2:00pm Eastern Time about diversity in the health care workforce. We will share a recording (if available) with our colleagues outside of Cincinnati.

Other News

An interesting article on cultural competency describes how cultural competency training can actually serve to reinforce racial stereotyping by making providers believe they are the experts on a certain community. As an alternative, the authors propose that students train in structural competency instead, including a crash course in the social determinants of health.
Colleges are hoping that predictive analytics can fix their dismal graduation rates. More than 150 colleges are now using some form of predictive analytics – however, the field is fraught with unintended consequences. Once colleges know which students are most likely to drop out, will they help or neglect those students? And if potential applicants can be assessed in the same way, will they still be admitted to institutions struggling to improve their graduation rates?
A recent survey found little minority representation in hospital C-suites and on hospital boards, despite a surging minority general population.
The nursing workforce shortage may not be as severe as predicted. A series of articles describe how nurses are working longer and delaying retirement. In addition, nursing education programs have more than doubled the number of graduates since 2002.
New Mexico will soon have an osteopathic medical school, which will be based at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.

Publications and Resources

Our Urban Universities for HEALTH co-Principal Investigator, Dr. Marc Nivet, has co-authored a new article, “Diversity Questions for Boards” in the May/June issue of Trusteeship Magazine.  The article was also covered by the AAMC’s Wing of Zock blog.
Nursing student diversity is on the rise, according to a new policy brief from AACN.
The Institute of Medicine has published a summary of their recent workshop on supporting a movement for health and health equity.
An article in JAMA shares data and findings from Healthy People 2020’s report card on the health of the nation.
For the 11th year in a row, AHRQ has produced the National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) and the National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR). These reports measure trends in effectiveness of care, patient safety, timeliness of care, patient centeredness, and efficiency of care. PDF versions of the reports are now available for download on the AHRQ website.
The Commonwealth Fund published a business case for addressing patients’ social needs. They report that with the confluence of sound economics and good policy, investing in interventions that address patients’ social as well as clinical needs is starting to make good business sense.

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