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HACU Member Advisory—September 17, 2004

 HACU addresses need for more Hispanic health care professionals

 HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores addressed a key advisory committee on national health care on September 13, 2004, in Washington, D.C., calling for new efforts to encourage more Hispanics to pursue careers in health care professions.

Flores addressed the Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary, Community-Based Linkages for the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Committee advises the Secretary of Health and Human Services on health care education pipeline and faculty development issues of importance, specifically in the areas of rural health care, area health education centers, allied health, podiatric medicine, chiropractic medicine and geriatrics.

With rapidly changing demographics and an anticipated shortage in the health care work force, Flores emphasized the need to reverse the under-representation of Hispanics in health care professions not only to meet the coming health care workforce shortage, but also to better serve the country’s largest and fastest-growing ethnic population.

Hispanic-Serving Institutions, which serve the largest concentrations of Hispanic higher education students in the country’s largest Hispanic population centers, can play a vital role in training and retention, as well as outreach to encourage more pre-collegiate students to pursue careers in health care. Flores said more resources must be directed to HSIs to help them expand their role in these efforts.

To better represent the country’s diverse communities, Flores recommended the appointment of Dr. Elena V. Rios, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association, to the Committee.

HACU will advise its membership of actions that result from this and future meetings, and of HACU’s continuing efforts to win more resources for the Hispanic higher education community to ultimately increase the ranks of Hispanic professionals in health care and other high-demand fields.

HACU Member Advisories are a service of the
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.