South Carolina Universities Partner for Dual Degree Program Aimed at Boosting Minority Health Care Worker Population
The University of South Carolina and Claflin University on Tuesday announced that they have formed a partnership set to begin this fall that aims to produce more minority public health care workers, the Columbia State reports. Findings from HHS indicate that South Carolina has a shortage of health care professionals in areas with high minority populations. Minority residents make up about 35% of the state's population, according to 2007 U.S. Census Bureau figures.
The partnership establishes a dual degree program through which students could receive a bachelor's degree in biology from Claflin, a historically black university, and a master's degree from USC's Arnold School of Public Health.
Claflin President Henry Tisdale said the agreement will help address health disparities that minorities face. "Despite advances in treatment and technology, too many people still suffer chronic and life-threatening diseases that must be addressed through education and prevention," Tisdale said.
Saundra Glover, director of USC's Institute for Partnerships to Eliminate Health Disparities, said, "We have higher success with minorities and health care if they have access to minority providers," adding that some minority providers have "a greater level of understanding" of minority patients' needs (Washington, Columbia State, 4/22).