Friday, September 03, 2021

Jefferson Regional Foundation and AHN Jefferson Partner to Increase Diversity in the Allied Healthcare Workforce

Grant Supports AHN Jefferson White Coats for Diverse Professionals in Allied Health Project

PITTSBURGH - Grant funds from the Jefferson Regional Foundation to Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Jefferson Hospital will spearhead a critical focus to recruit underrepresented professionals in medicine with a goal to double the diversity of the workforce over the next four years.

“Prioritizing equity and inclusion in a workforce that eradicates systemic discrimination is a critical strategy for Jefferson Hospital,” said Chong Park, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon and president at AHN Jefferson. “Nowhere is this vision more relevant than in the ability of an organization to attract, develop and retain a workforce that represents the diversity of the patients and communities it serves.”

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2019, there were over 18.6 million people working in the health care industry across a range of occupations and settings. Overall, 60% of health care workers were White and 40% were people of color, including 16% who were Black, 13% who were Hispanic, and 7% who were Asian.

Jefferson Hospital and AHN are committed to creating an organization that prioritizes equity and inclusion and confronts systemic discrimination. Through this grant, Jefferson Hospital will partner with the Community College of Allegheny County to deliver a comprehensive allied health training and mentorship program bringing educational opportunity and employment to diverse junior and senior student populations. The project will commence at four local high schools to build interest in allied health fields and awareness to this unique career path.

“Patients who receive care from people who look like them have a better outcome, and this is why we’re committed to investing in scholarship, hiring and mentorship programs to diversify the population of caregivers. Inclusivity is a primary workforce equity goal at AHN,” said Allie Quick, Chief Philanthropy Officer at AHN. “With the generous funds from the Jefferson Regional Foundation, we will be able to focus on the recruitment of underrepresented allied health professionals.”

“We know that social determinants, such as access to trusted providers who represent the local community, have a tremendous impact on addressing the health disparities which exist across neighboring communities in our own area,” said Mary Phan-Gruber, CEO of Jefferson Regional Foundation. “Jefferson Regional Foundation is pleased to support this creative initiative which connects local students with a variety of health workforce opportunities and addresses several of our grant-making priorities, including diversity, equity and inclusion, workforce and economic opportunity and health and wellness.”

To learn more about Diversity and Inclusion at AHN, visit

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