The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) has taken a significant step in addressing Maryland’s growing healthcare needs by joining the Maryland Alliance to Transform the Health Professions.
The Alliance — composed of more than a dozen academic health institutions and historically black colleges and universities in Maryland — is working together with the state’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to increase diversity and enrollment at all these schools, with the aim of expanding and diversifying the state’s future healthcare workforce. Through recruitment, faculty exchange, and collaborative research efforts, the group hopes to provide a working model for other states.
“This is a landmark alliance in the history of Maryland healthcare,” said Sandra Angell, JHUSON Associate Dean for Student Affairs. “For the first time, academic and medical institutions are coming together to ensure the growing demand for healthcare will be met in the future.” Angell represented the JHUSON at the formal signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on May 5.
According to the MOU, the Alliance will create a future healthcare workforce that is increasingly proficient in cross-racial and cross-cultural interactions. Such action to reduce disparities in health and healthcare comes at a crucial time: On May 25, Baltimore’s first Health Disparities Report Card confirmed that residents with little education and low incomes are more likely to get sick or die than those with more education and money.
“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 Louis W. Sullivan, M.D., honorary chairman of the Maryland Alliance Steering Committee.