Diversity in Healthcare Taskforce
In Summer 2020, we created the Diversity in Healthcare Task Force (DHT) to address issues regarding diversity, discrimination, and disparities within healthcare. As a pre-health organization, we believe it is our responsibility to educate our members on these issues so that we may become the best possible providers to a diverse patient population in the future. AED members may apply to join the DHT as a general member or SubChair. Throughout the semester, the DHT focuses on a number of initiatives, including discussion sessions, in which members from groups research and then present on a topic of their choosing to an audience of AED members. In addition to that, spring conference planning, AED general body involvement, community outreach; and the DHT Instagram account (@diversity_in_heathcare) were created to further our impact outside of the AED and Penn State community.
DHT Conference 2022
In April 2022, the Diversity in Healthcare Task Force (DHT) hosted the first DHT conference, “Diversity in Healthcare: Sourcing Solutions for Better Outcomes Tomorrow." The mission of the conference was to educate and encourage pre-health professionals to first reflect on the big issues in healthcare and medicine, and then discuss meaningful approaches to solving these problems. Seven key themes were covered, including racial and ethnic disparities, gender and sexual disparities, healthcare workforce diversity, socioeconomic disparities, ableism, linguistic and cultural disparities, and disparities with age and elder abuse. The conference was open to the entire Penn State community and supported by sponsorship from offices within the Penn State College of Medicine, Eberly College of Science, College of Health and Human Development, College of Nursing, and Schreyer Honors College. Conference day was broken into two phases followed by an optional remote solutioning case competition, in which groups further developed their solutions under the mentorship of medical students and senior nursing students. The first phase of conference day was dedicated to presenting and discussing the key themes, while the second phase was dedicated to narrowing the themes into tangible issues, generating initial ideas for solutions, and self-assigning into groups. In between the two phases, there was a lunch hour dedicated to guest speakers, including speakers sharing a clinical perspective and patient stories. Following the conference, participation certificates were awarded, with the highest voted solutions from the optional remote solutioning case competition receiving monetary awards. We hope that this conference served as an example for other pre-health organizations to develop similar initiatives.
Spring 2023 Discussion Sessions
Comparative Health Care Systems
Maternal Health Disparities
Addressing Financial Accessibility Issues in Healthcare
Preventative Care Access in Urban vs. Rural Populations
Substance Abuse Disparities
Geographical Barriers to Healthcare