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UofM joins with HBCU and local hospital to diversify healthcare

The University of Memphis, Meharry Medical College and Methodist Le Bonheur have joined together in a partnership in hopes of expanding opportunities for Black students within the healthcare system. 

Each of the three institutions recognized the importance of introducing more students of color to an hands-on learning and training experience within the medical field, which spurred the pipeline’s creation. Additionally, this trio collaboration will allow minorities in under-privileged areas across West Tennessee access to their basic healthcare needs. 

"The UofM is very excited for the opportunity to partner with such tremendous education and industry leaders in healthcare," said UofM President M. David Rudd in a press release. "This will enhance our relationship with Methodist Le Bonheur, a highly respected organization in our community that has worked with and supported the UofM for years. It will begin a new and promising relationship with Meharry Medical College, an institution we view as one of the very best nationally in training students to effectively identify health disparities and treat patients, especially those in underserved communities." 

The University of Memphis continues to embrace their diverse student population by working with locally-based, statewide and national institutions to provide opportunities that assist in creating equal spaces within the healthcare system for minority groups. By partnering with Meharry Medical College – a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in 

Nashville – and a local hospital, the UofM sets a blueprint for the future of diversity within healthcare. 

“There is a critical need throughout our country for a pipeline of Black talent within medicine,” said Meharry President and CEO Dr. James E.K. Hildreth in a press release. “Now more than ever, the Black community needs greater access to preventive care and to providers they trust. This partnership with Methodist and the University of Memphis will support our ongoing efforts to diversify students’ training and educational experiences, so they are fully prepared to serve.” 

Meharry Medical College is dedicated to providing minorities and members of disadvantaged communities with equal access to exceptional healthcare education. With proper education, students within the Black community are taught how to properly serve and care for members in their own neighborhoods. By providing a hybrid learning experience through their partnership with the UofM and Le Bonheur, Meharry students are able to apply their knowledge to real-life clinical scenarios. 

Methodist Le Bonheur, a children’s hospital based in Memphis, serves members of every community by encouraging diversity within their clinics. By allowing students from both the University of Memphis and Meharry to participate and learn first-hand how to treat and care for their community, the two universities hope to ensure their students post-graduate success. 

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), nearly 60 percent of all healthcare workers are white, while the other 40 percent is made up of other ethnic groups. 16 percent of them are African Americans.

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