Representation in Health Professions Preamble
Hispanics/Latinos are severely underrepresented in the health professions. Accordingly the delivery of health care services to the Hispanic/Latino community suffers. in addition, communities need culturally competent, and culturally sensitive professionals in all disciplines to address their needs with appropriate programs and services.
- Underrepresentation of Hispanics/Latinos at all levels of the health professions, including practitioner, faculty, advanced career positions, and decision-making bodies.
- Underrepresentation of Hispanics/Latinos in the educational pipeline of the health professions.
- Lack of adequate mechanisms for identifying, recruiting, retaining, and promoting Hispanics/Latinos in health and science professions.
- Underfunding for Hispanics/Latinos in health and science education programs.
- Underutilization of linguistically and culturally competent foreign-educated Hispanic/Latino health professionals to provide care in Hispanic/Latino communities.
Summary of Key Strategies
- Promote the recruitment, retention, and advancement of Hispanic/Latino health professions faculty, including an increase of tenured and tenured track faculty. (Local)
- Ensure the entry and retention of Hispanics/Latinos through funding incentives (such as institutional development) in undergraduate and graduate programs at Hispanic/Latino- serving institutions and Hispanic Centers of Excellence.
- Establish guidelines for the recruitment and retention of Hispanic/Latino students in all health professions and make universities accountable by tying the requirements to levels of funding.
- Ensure the broad dissemination of information on financial assistance and educational initiatives-- such as college work-study programs, grants, scholarships, fellowships, and national service.
- Develop and support awareness, educational enrichment, and student guidance and mentoring programs to encourage Hispanic/Latino students to pursue careers in the health professions.
- Develop licensure preparation courses, alternate competency examinations, and tracking mechanisms to increase retraining opportunities and promote the greatest use of Hispanic/Latino foreign-trained health professionals.
Key Audiences: Local, State, and Federal administrators and officials.
Communication and Representation
- Increase the use of media resources to promote positive images and advancements of Hispanics/Latinos of both genders in health and science careers. (Local, State, and Federal)
- Increase the participation of Hispanics/Latinos in commissions, task forces, advisory committees, boards, and conferences sponsored by county, State, and Federal health departments or agencies. (Local, State, and Federal)
- Develop information programs on Hispanic/Latino education data for members of school boards, university regents, foundation boards of trustees, and county, State, and Federal education and health administrators. (Local, State, and Federal)
- Develop electronic and computer-accessible Hispanic/Latino bulletin boards to provide access to Hispanic/Latino databases via 800 lines for "net-working" information regarding available resources and career development programs. (State, Federal)
- Require the NIH Office of Minority Health Research to establish a Hispanic/Latino health division. (Federal)
- Increase access for Hispanics/Latinos in biomedical research and health professional educational systems. (Local, State, and Federal)
- Increase the involvement of Hispanic/Latino families, teachers, principals, and faculty in decision-making processes regarding all levels of Hispanic/Latino education issues.
- Increase the involvement of Hispanic/Latino faculty in planning, funding, admission, and curriculum activities. (Local)
- Encourage education administrators to provide Hispanic/Latino bilingual tutors for students in primary and secondary levels and to increase the number of Hispanic/Latino faculty to be consistent with the Hispanic/Latino population.
- Promote the retention, advancement, and increase of tenured and tenured track faculty. (Local)
- Develop leadership training programs, such as the Cuban-American National Council Leadership Board Training Model, that enhance the career development of Hispanic/Latino health professionals. (Local, State, and Federal)
- Support and expand programs targeting Hispanic/Latino student participation (such as Minority Biomedical Research Support Programs and Minority Access to Research Careers (MBRS/MARC)) at biomedical research and health professional schools and Hispanic Centers of Excellence. (Federal)
- Establish funding incentives targeting the entry and retention of Hispanics/Latinos in undergraduate and graduate institutions serving Hispanic/Latino populations to reverse the extremely low rates of Hispanics/Latinos with a college education.
- Expand support for culturally competent education and science enrichment programs and models that promote the success of Hispanic/Latino health and science students, clinicians, and academicians. (State, Federal)
- Provide funding to health professional schools that recruit Hispanic/Latino clinicians from low income areas. (State, Federal)
- Develop additional loan forgiveness, college work-study, and scholarship/fellowship programs specifically targeted for Hispanic/Latino students and practitioners, particularly in extremely rural and urban communities.
- Establish mechanisms to disseminate information on how to obtain student financial assistance, grants, scholarships, and fellowships.
- Promote the use of non-biased cultural measures and assessments for admission and licensing exams and accountability and performance standards. (State, Federal)
- Develop tracking mechanisms for foreign medical graduates to determine sites where retraining opportunities are available, health care positions and vacancies are posted, and license requirements are disseminated.
- Develop licensure preparation courses and alternate competency examinations for Hispanic/Latino foreign-trained health professionals. (State, Federal)
- Develop and fund adopt-a-student programs to encourage recruitment and retention of Hispanics/Latinos into health and science professions. (State, Federal)
- Increase the number of Hispanic/Latino health professionals by eliminating barriers that prevent, deter, or delay licensure. (Local, State, and Federal)
- Develop and increase support for programs that employ foreign-trained Hispanic/Latino health professionals. (State, Federal)
- Develop and support early awareness, dropout prevention, and other education enrichment programs such as "Padres A Ia Escuela" (Washington, D.C.) and the Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program at Arizona State University. (Local, State, Federal)
- Support Hispanic/Latino corporate-sponsored mentoring programs in the health science professions. (Local, State, and Federal)
- Develop cooperative agreements between private and public institutions for support of research by Hispanic/Latino scientists. (Local, State, and Federal)
- Solicit funding for endowed Chairs for Hispanic/Latino faculty members at educational institutions. (Local, State, and Federal)
- Collaborate with State licensing boards, university presidents, State legislators, and professional associations to expand career opportunities for Hispanic/Latino educators and health professionals. (Local, State)
- Develop and support education enrichment and student guidance programs that address special needs of Hispanic/Latino students contemplating health or science careers. (Local, State, and Federal)
- Promote awareness among elected officials (city council members, mayors, county commissioners, etc.) of health education issues affecting Hispanics/ Latinos. (Local, State, and Federal)
- Support the development of licensure examinations for foreign-trained Hispanic/Latino health professionals. (State)
- Collaborate with leaders of educational and health professional associations to increase Hispanic/Latino involvement and leadership. (Local, State, and Federal)
- Promote inclusion and participation of Hispanic/Latinos in editorial boards of professional health and science journals and publications. (Local, State, and Federal)
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