Greetings from the Founder of the National Diversity Council, Dennis Kennedy

Dennis Kennedy

Greetings! We are thrilled to welcome you to the first edition of our Healthcare Diversity Council Newsletter. Our hope is that you will find it a valuable resource. As we launch the Healthcare Diversity Council under the umbrella of the National Diversity Council,our purpose is to bring to light the importance of a sound business case for diversity and inclusion in the healthcare industry. We are inspired by the work of our founding board members to champion this important effort and are pleased to profile them in this inaugural edition. According to the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis, amajor demographic trend affecting the health workforce in the future is the growing aging population.This trend will increase the mix and demand for health care services and have profound economic implications for the nation. The center indicates that the types of services needed for individuals 65 and over maychange as current trends show lower disability rates for the older population. In terms of talent, an aging workforce raises concerns as many health professionals will be retiring at a time when demands for health services increase. Other sources also refer to the increase in demands for health care services by minorities as segments of this population continue to grow. The American Medical Students Association (AMSA) points out that, between 2000 and 2020, the total patient care hours spent by physicians with minority patients will rise from approximately 31 to 40 percent. In addition, patterns of health care consumption among Hispanics and racial minorities differ from those of non-Hispanic whites. Research shows that members of minority communities experience higher incidence of serious disease; they also face greater barriers to access health services. AMSAgives a number of fundamental causes affecting health care consumption. These include access barriers such as language, residence in underserved areas, insurance level or financial support; physician bias or patient belief of bias, which disproportionately affects physician time spent with minority patients; and increased clinical uncertainty with respect to diagnosis and treatment. In light of these challenges, the focus of the Healthcare Diversity Council is to attain greater diversity and inclusion in the industry by advancing cultural competency, increasing access to high-quality healthcare service, strengthening the medical research agenda, and ensuring optimal management of the health care system. Equally important is our goal to increase the diversity of the health professional pipeline in the major healthcare areas. The recruitment of diverse individuals into the healthcare professions determines not only their participation in the workforce but also their influence on the educational process. Ultimately, a diverse workforce enhances the quality of care needed to address the needs of our increasingly diverse communities. We invite you to read our newsletter and learn more about the challenges and opportunities facing the healthcare industry and how you could make a difference.

Respectfully, Dennis Kennedy, CEO & Founder Angeles M. Valenciano, President