PromOTing Healthcare Diversity: a diversity initiative for occupational therapy
Dawes, Monique Peta-Gaye
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Occupational therapy (OT) is an allied health profession that works with a diverse population, but the ethnic and racial make-up of OT practitioners does not reflect this diversity. The lack of diversity among healthcare providers has been found to exacerbate healthcare disparities in minority communities. Increasing the number of minority OT practitioners helps decrease bias and improve trust and comfort of minority clients improving health outcomes. Minority students have poor awareness of OT as a viable career option and are limited by social, academic, and financial barriers. PromOTing Health Diversity is an evidence-based pipeline and mentorship program designed to help increase minority student enrollment in OT programs by addressing these barriers. PromOTing Healthcare Diversity utilizes a one-day seminar to educate students on OT, the process of becoming an OT, and resources available, and provides students with hands on community-based OT experiences. Students with increased interest in OT can participate in a mentorship program where they will work with minority OT practitioners to grow personally and professionally as they progress towards admission requirements. Participants of PromOTing Healthcare Diversity will share their knowledge of OT with their social network, which will help to increase awareness of OT as a healthcare resource in the minority community. PromOTing Healthcare Diversity helps to increase minority student enrollment into OT programs and increased minority communities’ awareness of the profession.
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