Supporting our Diverse Healthcare Workforce through Innovative Partnerships

Community health centers (CHCs) deliver services to the most needy in often multi-cultural, multiethnic communities. The need to foster an effective CHC workforce that is both multi-lingual and multi-cultural is particularly salient in these settings and critical to the health of communities across the commonwealth. At the heart of the CWW sponsored Healthy Diversity Initiative is the desire to better understand the challenges as well as to identify best practices related to supporting diversity at all levels within the CHC workforce. The first phase of the initiative, funded by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, resulted in a report about current CHC diversity practices.
The second phase of this initiative has been funded by the UMass President’s Creative Economy Fund. The primary goal of phase two is to highlight a practice utilized by some CHCs to enable their diverse entrylevel staff to move up the organizational ranks—specifically, innovative educational partnerships with colleges and universities. These partnership models, while seemingly rare, appear to be promising avenues for diversifying the CHC workforce. We will host a Healthy Diversity Summit in April 2013, where representatives from CHCs and interested educational institutions from across the commonwealth will be invited to share and discuss these promising models.
The PIs on the project include CWW Associates Meg Bond, Michelle Haynes, and Robin Toof. The Project Manager is Michelle Holmberg, and we have had several talented student research assistants over the course of the project including: Johana Reyes-Quinteros, Tracey Jackson, Alex Noyes, and Teresa Shroll.