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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UNMC: African American-Cherokee-Mexican Research Team Tackles Underrepresentation of Minority Health Professionals in Nebraska

Despite longstanding efforts to promote diversity in health professions, African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans remain underrepresented among health professionals in Nebraska and nationwide. With Nebraska seeking to become the healthiest state in the nation, having a health professions workforce representative of the populations experiencing health disparities is critical. To address these disparities, the Institute of Medicine recommends increasing the proportion of U.S. underrepresented minority (URM) health professionals.

As a result of this recommendation, a team of faculty from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health – Department of Health Promotion led a study to examine barriers and catalysts for promoting health professions careers among URM in the Midwest. The diverse team include faculty investigators: Drs. Patrik Johansson, Keyonna King, Armando De Alba, and Regina Robbins and graduate students: Mr. Echohawk Lefthand, Ms. Melissa Leon, Ms. Tatiana Tchouankam, and Ms. Sonja Tutsch. Qualitative researchers Drs. Dan Schober and Ron Shope, biostatistician Ms. Elizabeth Lyden, and database developer Mr. Matt Anderson complete the team.

Key study findings suggest that African Americans and Latinos face very similar barriers to pursuing health professions careers, including lack of academic preparation, cost of education, lack of support, narrow knowledge of different health professions and how to pursue health professions careers, isolation, and perceived discrimination.

The findings from this study will inform the UNMC Rural Health 2030: 2018-2019 Rural Action Plan and will be presented at the Department of Health Promotion seminar on April 29, 2019 at 11:00 am in the Maurer College of Public Health, room 3013 and livestream.