The Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP) has declared the low number of historically underrepresented men of color (HUMOC) graduating and entering the health care professions a national crisis. Representing 16 CEOs of national academic health professions associations, FASHP has released a consensus statement addressing this critical issue. FASHP is calling on local and national educational, health care, governmental and community leaders to raise awareness regarding this critical issue and to identify barriers and provide resources to dramatically increase the number of men of color graduating from the academic health professions.
“We must urgently join forces with P-16 education, government, health care, corporations and other leaders to remove pathway barriers and adopt robust strategies that facilitate a significant increase in the number of historically underrepresented men of color entering and graduating from dental, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, social work and other health professions schools,” said Dr. Karen P. West, Secretary of FASHP and President and CEO of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA).
“The development of a diverse healthcare workforce is a critical goal for all FASHP member associations,” added FASHP President Dawn Mancuso, MAM, CAE, FASAE, Executive Vice President and CEO of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry. “Our patients deserve the best care we can provide, and that requires a concerted, broader effort to motivate attention and activate solutions.”
The long-running sentiment expressed by FASHP CEOs is consistent with two landmark reports, In the Nation’s Compelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health-Care Workforce (2004) and Missing Persons: Minorities in the Health Professions (2004), which state that more racially and ethnically diverse health care professionals are essential for meeting future health care needs; tied to improved patient satisfaction, increased access to quality health care and reduced health disparities; and critical for elevating the nation’s responsiveness to the health care needs of a society with rapidly changing demographics.