Center for Trustee Initiatives and Recruitment
A center dedicated to helping hospitals and nursing homes make their governing boards more diverse has been established.
The Center for Trustee Initiatives and Recruitment is sponsored by the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA). This trade association represents 250 not-for-profit hospitals and continuing care facilities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The center is designed to help healthcare providers in the Northeast and nationwide to achieve diversity in their governing bodies through:
• Recruitment. This will involve "aggressive networking and outreach" to identify a pool of talented and qualified volunteer candidates for board membership from diverse ethnic and racial groups, "including the New York metropolitan area's vast Hispanic population." The center also will connect these candidates with hospitals and nursing homes. Outreach/networking activities will involve connections with professional associations, chambers of commerce, corporations, community leaders, and advocacy groups.
• Education and Development. The center will provide a support system involving education, training, and mentoring as needed to help minority board members evolve in their roles and enhance their competency in board matters.
• Partnerships. The center actively seeks partnership arrangements with individuals and organizations committed to promoting and improving opportunities for minority representation in the management and governance of healthcare organizations.
The center's executive director is Mary Medina.
Diversity in Healthcare Leadership
A companion initiative of the GNYHA was the approval in December 2004 of an advisory task force on diversity in healthcare leadership, chaired by Ida L. Castro, currently Haywood Burns Chair for Civil Rights at the City University of New York's School of Law.
The goals of this task force, which was established in February 2005, are to help members of the GNYHA, and others, in their efforts to increase the diversity of their senior management ranks and boards of governors, and thereby enhance healthcare quality and access for minority patient populations.
The task force members, who include prominent members from diverse communities, make regular reports to the GNYHA board of governors, with a special emphasis on identifying "best practices" of individual healthcare facilities that can be described and recommended for implementation by others.
In line with this, the GNYHA has established two internship programs encouraging minority students to pursue careers in healthcare management. One of these is for undergraduate students, and the other for graduate students.
AB 1195: Cultural and Linguistic Competency
In October 2005, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) announced passage of a bill it had sponsored requiring all continuing medical education (CME) courses for physicians providing direct patient care in California to include a component on cultural and linguistic understanding.
These CME courses, which licensed physicians are required to complete within a four-year time span, are intended to ensure that "all patients are able to communicate openly with, feel comfortable with, trust, and follow the advice of their doctors," says NCLR president and CEO Janet Murguia.
The assembly bill, AB 1195, sponsored by California Assemblyman Joe Coto (D-San Jose), follows the lead of a similar bill passed in New Jersey. It continues a trend that advocates hope will expand to other states, says Ms. Murguia.
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