Go Red For Women and Macy’s Join Forces to Drive Diversity in Medicine
(DALLAS, Sept. 19, 2011) — The American Heart Association is offering scholarships to multicultural women interested in healthcare careers. As part of its Go Red For Women awareness campaign, the association hopes to expand the much-needed pipeline of diverse nursing and medical students and increase cultural competence in health care. Information about the Go Red™ Multicultural Scholarship Fund is at GoRedForWomen.org/GoRedScholarship. Sixteen females will receive a $2,500 scholarship to support them in their studies.
Demand on health care continues to increase, but the number of multicultural women working in U.S. hospitals and medical schools is low — even as the U.S. population becomes increasingly diverse. “Macy’s is proud to have helped launch the Go Red Multicultural Scholarship Fund to encourage students nationwide to explore career opportunities that make a direct impact in their communities by joining the fight against heart disease in women,” said Bill Hawthorne, Macy’s Senior Vice President of Diversity Strategies.
“Health care is always in need of talented people. If we can get more deserving, diverse females into the medical pipeline through the Go Red Multicultural Scholarship Fund, then it helps our industry and it helps society,” said Karol Watson, M.D., associate professor of cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Vice President of the Association of Black Cardiologists and American Heart Association spokesperson.
Research shows that numerous ethnic groups — including African-Americans and Hispanics — are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease and risk factors, confront barriers to diagnosis and care, and experience worse health outcomes than their Caucasian counterparts.
“Heart disease is largely preventable if you know the risk factors and take the necessary steps to keep your heart healthy, but this only happens if someone provides the education and awareness,” said Denise Hargrove, 57, an African-American nurse in Pikesville, Md. who struggles with high blood pressure. “Many minority nurses and physicians are advocates in their communities for improved health care. Conversely, patients become very close with people who they feel can relate to them and who understand them in the doctor’s office or at the bedside.”
“Factors that contribute to poor health outcomes among minorities include insufficient diversity among medical students and healthcare professionals and inadequate cultural competency training,” said Icilma Fergus, M.D., director of the Cardiovascular Disparities Center at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Last year, only 6.7 percent of African-Americans and 7.5 percent of Hispanics made up the total number of medical school graduates, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
“The American Heart Association is in a unique position to be a leader in helping to eradicate cardiovascular disease and health disparities by providing scholarships to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine,” said Fergus, chair of community programming for the Association of Black Cardiologists. “Moreover, the scholarship offers a window of opportunity to those who believe medical or nursing school is unattainable.”
The Go Red™ Multicultural Scholarship is made possible by the Macy’s Multicultural Fund. Macy’s is a national sponsor of Go Red For Women and Go Red Por Tu Corazón and has helped raise more than $24 million for the cause since 2004. For more information and to request an application, visit GoRedForWomen.org/GoRedScholarship. Deadline for entry is November 30, 2011.
About Go Red For Women
Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s solution to save women’s lives. With one out of three women still dying from heart disease, we are committed to fighting this No. 1 killer that is preventable. GoRedForWomen.org, a premier source of information and education, connects millions of women of all ages and gives them tangible resources to turn personal choices into life-saving actions. We encourage women and the men who love them to embrace the cause. For more information please visit GoRedForWomen.org or call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278). The movement is nationally sponsored by Macy’s and Merck & Co., Inc.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Our mission is to build healthier lives by preventing, treating and defeating these diseases – America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers. We fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit americanheart.org.
Elisa Ramirez-Johnson : (214) 706-1508
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