Efforts to build coalitions can benefit from strategies to increase the involvement of diverse stakeholders in key decision-making processes and to inform the public of progress toward efforts to increase the diversity of the health-care workforce. In addition, private and public (e.g., federal, state and local governments) entities should convene community stakeholders to inform them about community benefit standards and to build awareness that placing a priority on diversity and cultural competency programs is a societal expectation of all institutions that receive any form of public funding.
Several examples exist of initiatives that seek to build coalitions and utilize community benefit principles to increase support for health workforce diversity. As an example, Community Catalyst, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, has initiated the Physician Diversity Project in two sites (Boston and New York) to identify community-based strategies to increase medical workforce diversity. The overarching goals of the Physician Diversity Project are:
to increase key stakeholders and other community leaders’ awareness of the problems associated with the lack of physician diversity in the workplace,
to gain the commitment of key stakeholders and other community leaders to make efforts to increase physician diversity a key policy priority, and
to develop models from the existing sites that can be replicated in other locations.
To achieve these goals, Community Catalyst has organized and supported efforts to address public and private policies and increase community involvement in health-care priority-setting as part of a larger healthcare reform effort. The Boston site will develop a highly visible campaign that will include activities such as campaign strategy development and implementation, leadership recruitment and mobilization, constituency and coalition building, and legislative and policy research and analysis. The New York City site is attempting, through the reauthorization of the Health Care Reform Act (HCRA), which governs Medicaid reimbursement rates for hospitals, hospital uncompensated care pool financing, and state allocations for the cost of training medical residents, to gain stakeholder support for public policy designed to promote diversity in medical education and the physician workforce. Activities at the New York City site include coalition building, setting and promoting the coalition’s policy agenda, and other activities.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation also supports the Community Voices Program, which is designed to strengthen community support services and