To help improve the effectiveness of the U.S. health care system in meeting the complex needs of an increasingly diverse population, a diverse health workforce is required. Sufficient resources are necessary, as well as policies aimed at attracting, training, equipping and effectively deploying primary care providers and other high-demand health care professionals. To address this need, United Health Foundation is investing in a 21st century health workforce through the Diverse Scholars Initiative.
“Cultural competency is very important; it lends to the credibility and trust of a provider,” said Elena Rios, MD, MSPH, president and CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association. “Patients are interested in having someone they can open up to, and United Health Foundation has a vision to help have more primary care providers in our underserved communities.”
Since the program was launched in 2007, United Health Foundation has provided more than $16 million in assistance and funded nearly 2,069 scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to demonstrating financial need, scholars must be pursuing a degree that will lead to a career as a primary care health professional and must indicate a commitment to working in underserved communities and community health centers.