It is well known that the field of healthcare is highly homogenous. Although this field serves a multitude of people with diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences, those providing care do not always reflect the diversity of the populations they are serving. As highlighted in our last blog, diversity in healthcare is crucial. It allows for an understanding that goes beyond the notion of simply providing care. It accounts for the mindset of a patient and provides a context of culture, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic status. Research has continuously shown that a lack of diversity among healthcare providers can actually cause the quality of care to suffer. When care is provided without context, we fail to see disparities in health and are unable to truly comprehend how different populations are affected. In addition to this, when context and cultural competence are not actively in place, we can misunderstand the different attitudes and perspectives that different populations have towards healthcare and treatment. From the field of medicine to the practice-based profession of social work, healthcare professionals must be able to provide personalized care that acknowledges these disparities and perspectives, and to achieve this, the field must continue to diversify and be truly representative of its patient population.
As many of you know, one of our biggest aims here at WHEF is to raise awareness and provide education on the things that matter in the field of healthcare. We have spent almost a year addressing these big topics and have explored the ins and outs of the factors that impact the health of our communities, both locally and internationally. As we reflect on everything we have learned so far, we strongly believe that increasing diversity in healthcare providers is essential to increasing equity in healthcare provision. Fortunately, it seems that much of the world is in agreement as the global recognition for the importance of diversity in healthcare is increasing. Although there is still much work to be done, the homogeneity of the field is slowly, but surely eroding. Now, more than ever, we are seeing the rise of racial and ethnic minorities making their way through the field of healthcare and breaking ground in sectors where it was deemed to be impossible. We are seeing an array of diverse professionals filling in gaps and becoming bridges to patient populations that have been historically underserved and ignored. As we prepare for our August conference, Bridging the Gap: Equipping Future Leaders in Healthcare, we want to shine a spotlight on these individuals and highlight their journeys, experiences, and hopes for the field of healthcare. Over the next two months, we will be speaking to a handful of different professionals and students in order to learn more about the importance of diversity in healthcare and the significance of their presence in the field of healthcare.
Many of these invdiduals will also be speaking at our August conference. The Bridging the Gap Conference aims to provide resources, information, and opportunities to youth from all backgrounds who are interested in entering careers in healthcare. This conference will provide educational sessions, opportunities to connect with local organizations and professionals, and will feature personal stories from healthcare professionals from all backgrounds, especially those typically underrepresented in their fields. We hope to highlight not just the wide range of people who are doing amazing things in healthcare, but also the numerous careers that are available including nutrition, physio/kinesiology, psychology, public health, research, optometry, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, dental hygiene, medicine, and physician’s assistant. The conference will take place on August 7, 2021, via Zoom. We invite you to share this with family, friends, and colleagues alike. We are so excited about this conference and our the upcoming blog series that will showcasing many of these individuals. For more information, please visit our website!
Together we can make an impact on the health of the nations and the generations to come.
The mission of WHEF is to increase accessibility to medications and supplies for healthcare facilities in Guatemala and Grenada. If you are interested in hearing more about the work we are doing, or in connecting with us, you can visit our website, check out our instagram or facebook, or sign up to receive our newletters. If you would like to support us in our work, please donate here.