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Developing next generation of diverse health care professionals at HBCU /HSI Scholars Symposium

(NewMediaWire) - May 20, 2024 - DALLAS  According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, fewer than 6% of all physicians in the United States are Black or African American and less than 7% are of Hispanic heritage. The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on longer, healthier lives and celebrating one hundred years of lifesaving service, continues to confront his gap by building on its historic engagement with students at leading Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI). A renewed two-year financial investment by the Quest Diagnostics Foundation, as part of the Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE) initiative, will support 83 scholars across 22 communities and 39 HBCUs and HSIs that have been selected to participate this year.

On April 11-13, 2024, nearly 100 students convened in Dallas at the American Heart Association’s international headquarters for the American Heart Association’s Scholars Program Research Symposium: “Bold Outcomes for Future Leaders”. The agenda featured professional development workshops and introduced several national American Heart Association Scholars collaborations designed to enhance testing resources, education technology, and mental wellness programs. The United States Office of Minority Health reports that “Significant racial and ethnic health disparities continue to permeate the major dimensions of health care, the health care workforce population health, and data collection and research.” 

The American Journal of Public Health suggests that patients of color may experience uncomfortable interactions with health care providers because of implicit and unconscious bias among physicians and other health care professionals. This may lower patient trust in prescribed treatments and follow-up care, and it is why both the American Heart Association and the Quest Diagnostics Foundation share a commitment to Scholars programs at the college and university level.

“We are deeply committed to increasing diversity among health care professionals through our American Heart Association Scholars programs,” said Pamela Garmon Johnson, National Vice President of Health Equity and Partnerships for the American Heart Association. “We are also grateful to have a sponsor like the Quest Diagnostics Foundation that believes as strongly as we do in this innovative effort to address health disparities in communities where it’s needed most and is willing to make the financial investment necessary to move the needle.”

“Addressing health inequity is at the core of our deep commitment to the American Heart Association’s Scholars programs,” said Stacey Ingram, Senior Manager, Quest for Health Equity, Quest Diagnostics. “We are proud that our shared effort to engage and encourage the next generation of health care workers, researchers, physicians and leaders will create opportunities to eliminate inequities, and we look forward to continuing positive outcomes as we extend our relationship with the American Heart Association with an additional two-year investment.”

The Q4HE initiative specifically provides resources, funding, testing services and education to address health disparities in underserved communities across the U.S.

College sophomores, juniors, and seniors from historically underrepresented communities, currently enrolled in an HBCU or HSI and working toward a degree in biomedical and health sciences, are eligible for these programs. Accepted students are selected based on their completed application, including an essay and a recommendation from their school. Information about the HBCU Scholars program is available here. HSI Scholars program information can be found here.

Additional Resources: 


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for a century. During 2024 - our Centennial year - we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookX or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.    

About the Quest Diagnostics Foundation 
The Quest Diagnostics Foundation was formed in 2001 to promote the benefits of healthcare and wellness, drive the prevention, early detection, monitoring and treatment of disease, and educate the general public and healthcare professionals on healthcare issues. Together with Quest Diagnostics, the Foundation sponsors Quest for Health Equity.

About Quest for Health Equity
Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE) is a $100+ million initiative launched in 2020 focused on eliminating health disparities in underserved communities across the U.S. Q4HE began with a comprehensive effort to provide access to COVID-19 testing and other critical resources in communities hit hardest by the pandemic. Today, Q4HE supports programs focused on increasing health equity through education, outreach, and greater access to healthcare. By joining forces with like-minded community stakeholders, Q4HE addresses the specific needs of the communities it serves while producing outcomes at scale. Q4HE is an initiative supported by Quest Diagnostics and the Quest Diagnostics Foundation.

About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics works across the healthcare ecosystem to create a healthier world, one life at a time. We provide diagnostic insights from the results of our laboratory testing to empower people, physicians and organizations to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world's largest database of de-identifiable clinical lab results, Quest's diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve healthcare management. Quest Diagnostics annually serves one in three adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the United States, and our nearly 50,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and with the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire actions that transform lives and create a healthier world.

For Media Inquiries:

Brittnay Glover, 803-881-5729,

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and