“More in Common Alliance” to address critical gaps in care by training more BIPOC clinicians
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (November 30, 2021) – CommonSpirit Health (Dignity Health’s parent company) and Morehouse School of Medicine today announced Dominican Hospital as one of seven sites that will address two of the most pressing challenges in health care – a shortage of diverse clinicians and the need for more equitable health care. The announcement launches the first phase of the More in Common Alliance, a 10-year, $100 million initiative to increase cultural competency and expand representation to improve both access and quality of care patients receive.
“Dominican Hospital was chosen because of the opportunity to impact patient outcomes in the diverse community that we serve,” said Dominican Hospital President Nanette Mickiewicz, MD. “We are laying the foundation for patients to have more access to culturally competent providers and for underrepresented medical students, post-graduate residents and fellows to gain community-based experience that they need to be successful in their work.”
Announced in December 2020, the partnership between CommonSpirit Health and the Morehouse School of Medicine will increase medical education opportunities for more Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC). More in Common Alliance was established as the partnership name because research demonstrates that patients consistently fare better when treated by clinicians of similar backgrounds who share lived experiences. Other first phase sites include undergraduate training opportunities at CommonSpirit hospitals in Chattanooga, Tenn., Lexington, Ky., and Seattle, Wash., and post-graduate residencies and fellowships in California in Bakersfield, Los Angeles and Ventura County.
“We know that, statistically and anecdotally, patients have better outcomes when treated by a clinician who comes from a similar background,” said Morehouse School of Medicine President and CEO Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice. “Yet, in the medical field, there are far too few providers from underrepresented groups, and the impact that has on patient care is astounding. Through the More in Common Alliance, our aim is to change the math and the face of health care in the U.S."
Dominican Hospital is currently in the process of establishing its program, which includes an application process with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and typically takes several years. With Morehouse School of Medicine as the program’s academic sponsor, post-graduate residents and fellows will benefit from training focused on addressing health inequities and underserved patients.
“Dignity Health, as part of CommonSpirit Health, trains nearly 900 post-graduate residents and fellows each year and we believe this number will grow through the More in Common Alliance,” said Dr. Gary Greensweig, System Senior Vice President and Chief Physician Executive of Physician Enterprise at CommonSpirit Health. “We will expand upon our work with new opportunities that will build a more diverse and dynamic workforce that reflects the communities we serve.”
Morehouse School of Medicine and CommonSpirit Health are uniquely positioned to impact health equity through education and training opportunities, and improved access and care delivery. While there are 155 accredited medical schools in the U.S., Morehouse School of Medicine and the other three historically Black medical schools produce the majority of the nation’s Black physicians. CommonSpirit Health, one of the largest health systems in America comprised of providers such as Dominican Hospital, serves some of the most diverse communities in the country and is a leading provider of Medi-Cal services.
“The More in Common Alliance is the perfect example of what can happen when two health care organizations, devoted to the creation and advancement of health equity in underserved communities, come together,” Dr. Montgomery Rice said.
Learn more about More in Common Alliance: www.moreincommonalliance.org.
About More in Common Alliance
The More in Common Alliance is a partnership between Morehouse School of Medicine and CommonSpirit Health. Morehouse School of Medicine is a historically Black medical school and one of America’s leading educators of primary care physicians, and CommonSpirit Health is one of America’s largest health systems with locations in 21 states from coast to coast. Knowing patients consistently fare better when treated by clinicians of similar backgrounds who share lived experiences, the More in Common Alliance seeks to address critical gaps in care by increasing cultural competency and expanding representation. Together, we are leading a 10-year, $100-million initiative to expand undergraduate and graduate medical education to build a more diverse and dynamic workforce that reflects the communities we serve.
About Morehouse School of Medicine
Founded in 1975, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is among the nation’s leading educators of primary care physicians, biomedical scientists, and public health professionals. An independent and private historically-Black medical school, MSM was recognized by the Annals of Internal Medicine as the nation’s number one medical school in fulfilling a social mission—the creation and advancement of health equity. MSM faculty and alumni are noted for excellence in teaching, research, and public policy, as well as exceptional patient care. MSM is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctoral and master’s degrees. To learn more about programs and donate today, please visit www.msm.edu or call (404) 752-1500.
About Dominican Hospital
Dignity Health Dominican Hospital has been caring for the Santa Cruz County community for generations. Dominican offers emergency services and is a Certified Stroke Center. Dominican’s services include the only comprehensive Cancer Center in Santa Cruz County, a Total Joint Replacement program, advanced neurological and endoscopic services, and an expert heart and vascular team treating some of the most complex cardiac cases in the Monterey Bay area. Dominican Hospital offers a comprehensive, Baby Friendly-designated Birth Center, and provides an on-site Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) through a partnership with Stanford Children’s Health. Dominican has received national recognition for superior patient safety, cardiac care, and stroke treatment from Healthgrades, a leading provider of comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. Dominican also has received several awards for environmental excellence. Dominican Hospital is planning a $360 million seismic update and modernization project to ensure that the growing Santa Cruz County community can access world class health care well into the future. The project will allow for advanced technology, new state-of-the-art facilities, and even more innovative healing spaces. To learn more about Dominican Hospital, please visit dignityhealth.org/dominican.
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