(BOWIE, Md.)— Following the passage of landmark health reform, the nation’s health care system requires more health professionals â especially primary and preventive care professionals in urban and rural communities â at a time of rapid and diverse population growth. A new academic partnership is aimed at tackling the crisis. The Maryland Alliance to Transform the Health Professions is designed to directly contribute to addressing the state’s growing health care needs and at the same time, provide a working model for other states also committed to expanding and diversifying their health workforce.
“The Alliance enhances the engagement of minorities in pre-medicine and other allied health programs, which will facilitate increased participation of underrepresented groups and their access to medical schools,” said George Acquaah, dean of Bowie State University’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Representatives from Maryland’s academic health institutions and historically black colleges and universities will come together for a formal signing of the Memorandum of Understanding which will mark the official formation of the Maryland Alliance. Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Honorary Chairman of the Maryland Alliance Steering Committee, Louis W. Sullivan, M.D., will serve as keynote speaker during the May 5, 2010, ceremony at Morgan State University (MSU).
“By providing more culturally competent and racially and ethnically diverse health professionals, Maryland’s citizens will have improved access to care, resulting in enhanced health literacy, better health outcomes and a stronger nation for all,” said Sullivan.
Over the past 25 years, America’s growing and increasingly diverse population has surpassed its number of trained health personnel. In 2006, the Association of American Medical Colleges recommended a thirty percent expansion in the number of physicians trained, in order to avert a doctor shortage â a shortage predicted to be 20,000 by the year 2015, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has projected that the current shortage of nurses may grow to a deficiency of one million by 2020, if current trends continue.
"Disparities in health outcomes are made more difficult to eliminate with a health workforce of physicians, nurses, dentists and pharmacists that does not reflect the diversity of the patients they serve" said Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) Secretary John M. Colmers. "This collaboration to form the Maryland Alliance to Transform the Health Professions is a major step toward the elimination of these disparities."
The formal signing ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. EDT in the MSU Murphy Fine Arts Center’s James E. Lewis Museum for African American Art. A reception for participants and attendees will follow at 10:30. The ceremony and reception are open to news media*:
What: Maryland Alliance to Transform the Health Professions Signing Ceremony
Where: Murphy Fine Arts Center’s James E. Lewis Museum for African American Art, 2201 Argonne Drive 3, Morgan State University, 1700 East Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore MD 21251
When: 10 a.m. EDT, Wednesday May 5, 2010
Who: The Honorable Louis W. Sullivan, M.D., chairman, the Sullivan Alliance to Transform America’s Health Professions; Mickey L. Burnim, Ph.D., president, Bowie State University; Dr. Reginald S. Avery, president, Coppin State University; E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., acting president, University of Maryland Baltimore, John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers distinguished professor and dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine; Natalie D. Eddington, Ph.D., dean, School of Pharmacy, University of Maryland Baltimore; Christian S. Stohler, D.M.D., dean, School of Dentistry, University of Maryland Baltimore; Edward D. Miller, M.D., dean and CEO, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Dr. Earl S. Richardson, president, Morgan State University; Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean, School of Nursing University of Maryland Baltimore; Martha N. Hill, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Office of the Dean, The Johns Hopkins University; Michael J Klag, Ph.D., dean, Bloomberg School of Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University; Janice E Clements, Ph.D., Mary Wallace Stanton Professor of Faculty Affairs, vice dean for Faculty, professor and director of Comparative Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Robert S. Gold, Ph.D., Dr. P.H., F.A.S.H.A., F.A.A.H.B., dean, The School of Public Health, University of Maryland College Park; and Thelma B. Thompson, Ph.D., president, University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
About the Sullivan Alliance to Transform America’s Health Professions
Through strong leadership, deep commitment and sustainable efforts the Sullivan Alliance aims to transform the health professions and help eliminate the gaps in health status and access to health care that affect too many Americans. For more information about the Sullivan Alliance, please contact Robin H. Carle at 202-789-6366, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Bowie State University
Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds who seek a high quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The University places special emphasis on the science, technology, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit the website at www.bowiestate.edu. For more information about the 145th anniversary visit the website at http://www2.bowiestate.edu/145/.