Core Areas of Impact
Health workforce improvements have focused on three core areas of impact which affect health disparities in urban communities: Access, Educational Opportunity, and Competence.
A health workforce that ensures access to health care and the opportunity for optimal health.
- Communities designated as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or a Medically Underserved Area (MUA) tend to have a lower self-reported health status
- Access includes a regular supply of a variety of health providers in needed specialties
- Access to comprehensive and quality health care services is important for the achievement of health equity
All talented students have opportunities and support to succeed in health careers.
- Closing gaps in educational achievement is needed to prepare a 21st Century workforce, particularly in the health professions
- Low-income and first-generation students, racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, and adults have traditionally been underrepresented among college students and graduates
- Large disparities in student educational outcomes exist by zip code
- Individuals without a post-secondary education bear a disproportionate share of the consequences of low educational attainment, including further income inequality and health inequity
- Increasing educational attainment among a population improves health and strengthens communities
- Health workers who come from underserved communities are more likely to practice in those communities, increasing both the supply and cultural effectiveness of care
Health professionals have the background, qualities, and skills, to serve community needs and reduce health inequities.
- Effectiveness has been demonstrated in health equity initiatives which are culturally tailored and interprofessional
- Cultural competency education is crucial for preparing future health care workers to care for a diverse patient population
- Non-English speaking patients experience better interpersonal care, greater medical comprehension, and greater likelihood of keeping follow-up appointments when they visit with a language-concordant practitioner