Communities of color are the fastest growing segment of the labor force. Focusing on increasing diversity in the health care work force also addresses pressing social justice and quality of care issues. First, in health care, communities of color are primarily concentrated in low-skilled, low-paying jobs. They are significantly underrepresented in college health care training programs.
This under-representation reinforces the cycle of poverty; it means people of color receive worse health care. A college-educated woman of color is far more likely to give birth to a low weight baby than a white woman with out a high school degree. Those of color are less likely to receive the recommended treatment (such as kidney dialysis) and are more likely to receive less desirable treatment (such as amputations).
The Institute's diversity and youth programs reduce costs, increase quality, and increase opportunities for diverse populations to gain employment in health care and advance their careers. The Institute's investment in this area is focused on one time start-up costs to develop sustained scalable programs.