The American Heart Association announces 2022-2023 cohort of Black College and University (HBCU) Scholars pursuing careers in healthcare

Dallas, November 1, 2022 According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, only 8% of medical students and 5% of physicians are black and African American. In an effort to address this disparity, the American Heart Association, a leading public health nonprofit dedicated to building a world of longer, healthier lives for all, announced that 52 students from 23 academic institutions have been selected to participate in its black history. College and University Scholars Program (HBCU).

HBCU students are enrolled in biomedical or other health sciences programs at their institutions. Through their participation in the Scholars Program, they will study how social determinants of health and other health disparities affect disadvantaged communities. They will also participate in scientific research projects and present their results at the end of the programme.

“Since 2015, the HBCU Scholars Program has helped change the course of dozens of underrepresented students in science and medicine by enhancing their talent, willingness, and growth to pursue careers in the biomedical sciences,” said American Heart Association volunteer president, Michelle A. Albert, MD, Master of Public Health, FAHA, Walter A. Haas-Lucie Stern Chair in Cardiology, Professor of Medicine and Dean of Admissions at the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine. “As champions of health care quality and accessibility for all, the American Heart Association is committed to building a diverse group of people in medicine and empowering the next generation of research and health care professionals.”

The program is funded by a grant from Quest Diagnostics, which also supports the American Heart Association’s Hispanic Service Institutes (HSI) Scholars Program.

“This program plays an essential role in supporting the pipeline of black students who will increase representation and equity in health care,” said Mandel Jackson, Vice President and General Manager, Quest for Health Equity, Quest Diagnostics. “We are proud to support this upcoming group of HBCU students with the American Heart Association as it provides them with academic experiences and networks to help them excel in their career paths.”

Accepted students are selected based on their GPA, completion of an official application that includes an essay and an official recommendation from their school. During the program, scientists are paired with a mentor who is working in the field of healthcare or is currently conducting their relevant scientific research. They will also participate in a leadership development program and be awarded a stipend to help cover education-related expenses. More about the American Heart Association’s HBCU Scholars Initiative can be found here.

Clinical research studies published in the American Journal of Public Health suggest that patients of color may experience uncomfortable interactions and communication barriers with healthcare providers due to a lack of diversity and face implicit and unconscious bias from clinicians and other healthcare professionals. These barriers, in turn, can reduce patients’ confidence in the overall health care system and, as a consequence, these patients may not complete prescribed treatments or follow up on recommended care. Addressing this issue is a vital component of the HBCU Scholars Program.

Each year, the Society seeks applications from sophomores, juniors and seniors from historically underrepresented communities who are currently enrolled in HBCU and interested in pursuing a professional degree in biomedical and health sciences.

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are committed to ensuring equitable health in all communities. By collaborating with many organizations, and with the support of millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for public health and share life-saving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a major source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook and Twitter Or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

For media inquiries:

Joseph Marks, 210-810-3093, [email protected]

For public inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and stroke.org

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