BlackDoctor.org, a health and wellness site targeted to African Americans and a repository for finding black doctors in your local area, released its 2018 Top Hospitals for Diversity List.
Several of the nation’s most prestigious hospitals made the list. Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai, known for its heart transplant program, was recognized for “its strong commitment in promoting equity and inclusion in the health system’s operations, programs, and staffing. The honor recognizes Cedars-Sinai’s ongoing commitment to build and sustain excellence in its diverse academic and medical community,” according to a press release.
“Diversity and inclusion are two of our institutional values, and it’s a tremendous honor to be recognized for these efforts among an elite group of hospitals,” said Andy Ortiz, senior vice president of Human Resources and Organization Development and Learning at Cedars-Sinai, in the same released statement. “We strive to not only ensure diversity among our employees, but also to be culturally sensitive and in tune with the needs of all the communities we serve.”
Other top hospitals on the list include The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland, The Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.
Criteria for inclusion on the list includes (from BlackDoctor.org’s site):
- Recognition of the institution among and by other leading hospitals
- Commitment to the American Hospital Association’s Equity of Care Pledge
- Recognized delivery of quality healthcare services
- Inclusive and diverse clinical and administrative staff
- Persons of color and women represented at the highest levels-including the board of directors and senior-level executives
- Culturally competent medical and professional staff
- Significant investment and profile in community health programs and initiatives
“Our 30 million-plus audience places a great importance upon cultural competency and sensitivity when it comes to the entire healthcare delivery system,” said Reginald Ware, chief executive officer of BlackDoctor.org. “Organizations who are working hard to see that everyone is treated fairly, regardless of race or creed, are highlighted with this top honor.”
Studies have shown that diversity in healthcare offers many positive outcomes in patient care. A recent Johns Hopkins School of Medicine study revealed that black doctors generally had more positive attitudes toward the patient. Another study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) found that black men—who have the lowest life expectancy of any major demographic in the nation—were more likely to engage in preventative care and seek medical advice with a black doctor.
However, there has been a decrease in the number of black medical students. NPR reported that there were fewer black medical students in 2014 than there were in 1978. African American women only account for 2% of the nation’s doctors.
There have been several initiatives launched to create more black and brown doctors. Last month, renowned New York University School of Medicine announced free tuition for all current and future medical students. The high cost of medical school is often an entry barrier for people of color.
Several HBCUs including Morehouse, Spelman, and Clark-Atlanta University launched The Undergraduate Health Sciences Academy to better prepare students for the MCAT and medical school.
Read BlackDoctor.org’s full 2018 Top Hospitals for Diversity List.