Photo Credit: Northwest Health Career Path

Diversity in Health Sciences

There’s a lack of diversity in the American healthcare field—the rates of employment in healthcare don’t reflect current US demographics. Students of color and the LGBTQ community remain underrepresented in many healthcare jobs, and the number of medical students from rural areas is declining. Given that the White population in the US is projected to fall 10% in the upcoming decades, the gap is likely to widen if nothing is done.

Northwest Health Career Path (NWHCP) believes a healthcare workforce should reflect its community and works to support diversity in healthcare. NWHCP’s mission is to make it easier for underrepresented people to access the resources they need to successfully launch a career in healthcare. NWHCP has created one place to find everything from summer camps and after-school programs, to workshops and internships, as well as college access programs, and more. The website serves students from middle schoolers to postgraduates.

With NWHCP’s free interactive map, users can find nearby resources fitting their education level and career focus, as well as financial and transportation needs. Longer term, NWHCP hopes their initiative will facilitate collaboration between organizations to create a more complete ecosystem of support for these students as they navigate through the sometimes complex landscape of higher education.

NWHCP is a collaborative effort between the University of Washington Medical School Service Learning Program and several regional partners. (Check out the Support section of their website for more information about all of the organizations making this project possible).

How the Tool Works

NWHCP started by collecting data from all of the healthcare outreach programs across the region of UW School of Medicine’s WWAMI partnership (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho), totalling over four dozen programs and organizations. The data is visualized on an interactive map, making it easy for students to find the resources closest to them. Each resource has a details page with a description and contact information.

How to get involved

Up to this point NWHCP has focused on getting their interactive map up and running. Next the project is looking to develop their website, and is partnering with DemocracyLab to connect with the following skilled volunteers:

  • Front-end developers
  • Back-end developers

Learn more about the project and discover how you can get involved by visiting the Northwest Health Career Path project profile on DemocracyLab.