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Urban Universities for HEALTH: Collaborating to Advance Health Equity

Not all Americans have the same opportunities to live in good health.  Evidence shows that individuals identifying as minorities suffer disproportionately from chronic diseases and live shorter, unhealthier lives. They are more likely to be uninsured and live in areas where health care services are limited. These health disparities are tragic – but they are also fixable. Urban universities are well-positioned to step in and train the next wave of doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and other health care professionals who hail from these urban communities and are motivated to provide care in underserved areas.

Urban Universities for HEALTH (Health Equity through Alignment, Leadership and Transformation of the Health Workforce) is a partnership effort of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU)/Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the National Institutes of Health. Over the past 5 years, the partnership has facilitated a “learning collaborative” of five funded university demonstration sites as well as 28 affiliate institutions dedicated to enhancing the health workforce and reducing health inequities in urban communities. The long term vision of Urban Universities for HEALTH is to enhance and expand a culturally sensitive, diverse, and prepared health workforce that improves health and reduces health disparities in urban communities.

Urban Universities for HEALTH works collaboratively to:

  1. Increase the quality of evidence and use of data within university strategic and action planning to develop a health workforce that reduces health disparities;

  2. Identify measures by which institutions can assess progress toward their health workforce goals; and

  3. Disseminate new knowledge, tools, and resources to assist universities and academic medical centers in increasing their capacity to prepare a health workforce that meets community needs.

To advance these goals, Urban Universities for HEALTH developed a web-based toolkit to help universities measure progress toward building a diverse, culturally competent health and biomedical research workforce.

The toolkit will be unveiled during a free live webcast on Monday, June 26 at 3:00 pm Eastern Time.

The toolkit includes:

  1. An interactive web-based tool to select strategies, indicators, and measures that align with an institution’s unique mission and local needs;

  2. A white paper exploring the context for the toolkit’s indicators and the related evidence base;

  3. Case studies from the Urban Universities for HEALTH demonstration sites to highlight best practices using the strategies and data in the toolkit;

  4. Sample institutional dashboards to demonstrate how data might be displayed;

The metrics toolkit provides university and health professions leaders with evidence-based workforce strategies, indicators, and measures which can be customized to fit each institution’s unique mission and local needs. The toolkit will be of interest to health professions leaders who are committed to using workforce strategies to reduce health disparities. The toolkit is also intended for use beyond the health professions. In particular, measures around undergraduate recruitment and admissions, pipeline programs, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and faculty diversity will be useful for university leaders and national organizations focused on broadening participation in STEM fields.

Learn more about the Metrics Toolkit and Urban Universities for Health HERE


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