Established in 1991, the Hispanic Center of Excellence (HCOE) has a primary goal of improving the health status of the Latino population by increasing the number of Latinos in the health professions and in particular medicine. During the past 13 years, there has been a continuous refinement of institutional policies and programs that have permitted the HCOE to implement initiatives aimed at enhancing academic performance; improving the recruitment and retention of faculty; and developing the capacity of the graduates to provide culturally competent healthcare services. HCOE seeks to reduce disparities in healthcare by supporting individuals committed to advance the goals of diversity in the medical profession and improve healthcare to underserved populations.
The programs of the Hispanic Center of Excellence are sponsored through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions, Division of Health Careers Diversity and Development. For more information, visit http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/diversity.
The diversity of our nation, combined with a shortage of individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds in the health professions, presents a significant challenge for medical education and academic medicine. Since 1972, NJMS has implemented programs in an effort to meet these challenges. With the support of the Hispanic Center of Excellence, NJMS seeks to fully implement a curriculum in response to the Liaison Committee on Medical Education Accreditation Standards, revised in November 2000. These standards maintain that medical school “faculty and students must demonstrate an understanding of the manner in which people of diverse cultures and belief systems perceive health and illness and respond to various symptoms, diseases, and treatments. Medical students should learn to recognize and appropriately address gender and cultural biases in health care delivery, while considering first the health of the patient.”
To ensure that all graduates master the core competencies requisite for a culturally competent provider, a comprehensive plan that involves all four years of medical education was developed. In November 2003, school-wide education goals and objectives were approved. Specifically, Goal 4 is “Commitment to the Health of the Community and Appreciation of Social and Cultural Diversity.” Students are expected to:
These education goals and objectives are of paramount significance, embracing the implementation of cultural competency as part of a new curriculum scheduled to be introduced in August 2004. The Hispanic Center of Excellence plays a critical role in further developing and implementing an integrated, vertical and longitudinal curriculum conceptualizing cultural competency and its impact in reducing health disparities in the United States.
The mission of the Hispanic Center of Excellence is to:
Please click below to view a comprehensive list of resources on Latino Health.
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