Case Studies

Building a Pipeline to Increase Diversity Recruitment


University Hospitals
Cleveland, OH
1,032 Beds

The Problem
To address the changing demographics of its patient community and provide equitable care, University Hospitals’ senior leadership created a diversity council that includes physicians, nurses, administrators and nonclinical staff. The diversity council’s mission is to ensure that diversity and inclusion are an integral part of University Hospitals’ culture. The council focuses on three main goals: (1) ensuring a multicultural group of administrative leaders, (2) recruiting and retaining a talented pool of minority faculty and other health care professionals and (3) building partnerships with minority- and family-owned businesses in the Cleveland area.

The Solution
Specific initiatives have been established to recruit and retain a diverse group of leaders and physicians at University Hospitals. The David Satcher Clerkship, established in 1991, annually hosts 10 to 15 fourth-year minority medical students who will be seeking residencies. This clerkship offers hands-on exposure to career opportunities in an urban academic medical center. Using a grant from the Joan C. Edwards Charitable Foundation, University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have established a multifaceted outreach program to encourage promising students at John Hay High School to pursue careers as physician-scientists. Each year, eight paid summer internships are offered to underserved and underrepresented students, and laboratory-based work-study positions are available at University Hospitals Case Medical Center during the academic year for Case Western Reserve University undergraduate medical students.

University Hospitals also provide job shadowing opportunities for 40 students and a half-day class, Introduction to Business and Finance Careers in Health Care, for 100 students at John Hay High School. Ten students from Central Catholic High School and Shaw High School received 16 hours of exposure to health careers during the summer. University Hospitals also support Future Connections, a mentoring program that links 10 Central Catholic students with mentors in health care and other professions. For the most promising students at John Hay High School, another program provides scholarships that cover all tuition and fees for undergraduate and medical school. The Minority House Staff Organization was created to support residents and fellows throughout their education, by involving them in community service projects, mentoring minority medical students, and assisting recruitment to University Hospitals.

In addition, to ensure a multicultural group of administrative leaders, University Hospitals created the Edgar B. Jackson Jr., MD, Endowed Chair for Clinical Excellence and Diversity. The physician appointed to this permanent position has the opportunity to mentor and serve as a role model for minority medical students and post-graduate trainees, recruit diverse physician, and lead a system-wide effort to reduce health disparities in Northeast Ohio. University Hospitals also grows the number of diverse physicians by conducting the Minority Faculty Development Award Program, the KeyBank Faculty and Administrative Fellowship Program, and Timothy Stephens Fellows Program.

The Result
More than 200 medical students from more than 40 different medical schools have participated in the David Satcher Clerkship. All of University Hospitals’ diversity initiatives have helped to double the percentage of African-American physicians on its faculty. Today about 6 percent to 9 percent of doctors in residence are underrepresented minorities, up from 1.8 percent in 1991.

Contact Information
Donnie Perkins

This case study was originally featured in the HPOE guide: "Eliminating Health Disparities: Implementing the National Call to Action Using Lessons Learned," published February, 2012.

Additional Resources

Webinars December 13th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 2: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 20th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 1: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 17th, 2017

Transportation and the Role of Hospitals This AHA webinar on “Transportation and the Role of Hos......