Multicultural Scholarship Helps Increase Diversity in Healthcare

Sixteen scholarships awarded by The American Heart Association and Macy’s aim to support diversity among healthcare professionals

April 21, 2014 Categories: Program News

DALLAS, TX (April 21) — The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women and Macy’s are awarding 16 scholarships of $2,500 each to help increase the number of diverse healthcare professionals while improving culturally-sensitive, patient-centered care.

The Go Red™ Multicultural Scholarships are part of Macy’s Multicultural Fund, which was created in 2009 to increase diversity in the medical field.  Macy’s is the founding national sponsor of the association’s Go Red For Women® and Go Red Por Tu Corazón awareness campaigns.

“At Macy’s, we are deeply committed to supporting diversity throughout everything we do,” said Holly Thomas, Macy’s Group Vice President of Media Relations and Cause Marketing. “As the founding national sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement, we are able to extend our reach into an underserved population. This includes raising awareness and creating long-term impact by helping increase diversity within the next generation of health care professionals who we know provide life-saving support to a multicultural population.

The scholarship program -- now in its third year -- champions greater inclusion of multicultural women in medical, nursing and allied health studies to better meet the cultural needs of racially diverse patients.

The number of minority medical school graduates is increasing steadily, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Among 17,341 medical school graduates in 2012, 1,163 were African-American, 1,294 Hispanic and 3,721 Asian.
However, the figures are still low compared with the population at large. For example, according to the 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics and US Census Bureau:

  • Only 5.4 percent of African-American and 3.6 percent of Hispanic nurses in the nation are registered nurses
  • In contrast, African-Americans are 13 percent of the nation’s population, and Hispanics or Latinos make up 17 percent
  • Minorities represent almost 37 percent of the U.S. population in total

    Meanwhile, census demographics indicate that minority population growth is expected to increase in relation to whites in the coming years. 

    “The numbers speak for themselves, as the demographics change and more ethnically and racially diverse populations grow, there will definitely continue to be a need for healthcare providers who mirror these patients,” said Eva Gomez, MSN RN-BC CPN and scholarship judge.  “Having more ethnically and racially diverse providers will make it possible to deliver healthcare that is meaningful, culturally appropriate and in the context of the person, thus making it patient and family-centered care.” 

   Numerous ethnic groups — including African-Americans and Hispanics — are at higher risk for heart disease.  Therefore, breaking the cultural and language barriers among patients and healthcare providers can lead to better health care.
 
    “The patient’s cultural identification, spiritual affiliation, language and gender can all affect the care they need, and their behavioral responses to illness,” Dr. Deidre Woods-Walton, National President for National Black Nurses Association.

    “Throughout my 20-year career in healthcare, I’ve learned that having a cultural connection between patients and healthcare providers, impacts the provider-patient dynamic,” agreed Gomez.  “The way in which healthcare providers, who look and sound like their patients, connect with them makes a positive impact on how patients and families respond, consult and accept healthcare guidance and care.”

    The 2014 scholarship recipients are:

  • Maryam Khazraee: post-graduate pharmacy student at the University of Florida
  • Beverly Quiros: junior at Emory/Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
  • Francesca Voza: post-graduate psychology student at City University of New York Hunter College
  • Shani Legore: senior studying physician and public health research at Southern Connecticut State University
  • Susan Samuel: freshman physician student at Temple University School of Medicine
  • Tiffany Phan: post-graduate speech/language pathology student at Loyola University Maryland
  • Toni King: post-graduate nursing student at Frontier Nursing University
  • Alicia Owens: sophomore studying dentistry at the University of Cincinnati
  • Hong Chartrand: post-graduate public health student at the University of Arizona
  • Kiara Rainey: senior studying dentistry at Tennessee State University
  • Korina Fitzpatrick: post-graduate nursing student at Marymount University
  • Temitope Adeyeni: senior studying clinical laboratory science at Saint Louis University
  • Chantel Underwood: senior studying nursing at Nazareth College of Rochester
  • Taylor Boatman: freshman studying pediatric reconstructive surgery at College of Charleston
  • Wen Mai Wong: sophomore studying to be a physician investigator at St. Mary’s University
  • Andrea Ibarra: junior studying to be a physician at University of Illinois     

    For more information, visit www.GoRedForWomen.org.

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Editor’s Note: Registration for the 2014-2015 Multicultural Scholarship is open and can be accessed by visiting www.GoRedForWomen.org/GoRedScholarship

Go Red For Women
Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association's national movement to end heart disease in women. We are committed to the fight, for as long as it takes. The American Heart Association's Go Red For Women movement advocates for more research and swifter action for women's heart health. The American Heart Association's Go Red For Women movement was created by women, for women. Because our health is non-negotiable, because we have the power to save our lives, and because the best force for women is women. The American Heart Association's Go Red For Women movement is nationally sponsored by Macy's, with additional support from our cause supporters. For more information please visit GoRedForWomen.org or call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278).
 
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Our mission is to build healthier lives by preventing, treating and defeating these diseases – America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers. We fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit americanheart.org.

About Macy’s
Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at approximately 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as to customers in the U.S. and more than 100 international destinations through its leading online store at macys.com. Via its stores, e-commerce site, mobile and social platforms, Macy's offers distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy's is known for such epic events as Macy's 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Macy's flagship stores -- including Herald Square in New York City, Union Square in San Francisco, State Street in Chicago, Dadeland in Miami and South Coast Plaza in southern California -- are known internationally and are leading destinations for visitors. Building on a more than 150-year tradition, and with the collective support of customers and employees, Macy's helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities giving more than $70 million each year to help make a difference in the lives of our customers. 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Sandra Verduzco: (214) 706-1798; Sandra.Verduzco@heart.org