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Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute Empowering Greater Equity Among Future Healthcare Leaders

By: 3BL Media

Professional development program strives to eliminate health disparities among underserved populations by cultivating a pipeline of minority scholars for leadership roles in healthcare

SOURCE: Quest Diagnostics


KANSAS CITY, Mo., November 3, 2021 /3BL Media/ - The Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute (BHLI), committed to eliminating health disparities among minority and vulnerable populations, recently hosted its annual leadership program, to provide undergraduate scholars professional development opportunities and internships at premier healthcare systems across the nation.

The leadership program is supported by Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services.

Founded by John W. Bluford III, ​longtime local healthcare executive and nationally recognized healthcare leader, BHLI strives to advance health equity in today’s healthcare system by sponsoring, mentoring, and coaching underrepresented talent for healthcare leadership and creating opportunities for the emerging leaders to improve health outcomes for minority and vulnerable populations.

“Through experiential learning, case studies and didactic activities supported by coaching, mentoring and sponsoring, the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute is proving that “If you can see it, you can be it”,” said John W. Bluford, Founder and President of BHLI.

The BHLI hosts a dynamic program where scholars analyze contemporary issues in today's healthcare landscape with leading national and local executives in the field such as Patrice Harris, MD, MA, Past President of the American Medical Association and Lloyd Dean, CEO of CommonSpirit Health. Topics covered in the program include health law, health informational technology, physician leadership, public health, public policy, social determinants of health, telehealth and virtual care, and equity of care, among other topics.

The Institute provides its scholars with exposure to various health related companies and organizations including an overview of an urban core safety net hospital by going onsite at Truman Medical Centers/University Health and its behavioral health department in addition to a visit to Swope Health, a federally qualified health center; the City of Kansas City, MO Health Department; Cerner, a healthcare informational technology corporation; and Polsinelli Law Firm Healthcare Practice.

During the leadership program scholars research and deliver a case study presentation that offers innovative solutions to providing quality, affordable, and accessible care for underrepresented communities.

Upon completing the leadership program, scholars then participate in a 10-12 week paid internship at a leading healthcare or partnering organization where they gain first-hand C-suite experience in strategy, planning, and collaborating efforts between the administrative and clinical teams of a healthcare system.

BHLI scholars have interned locally at Health Forward Foundation, Netsmart Technologies, Saint Luke’s Health System, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Swope Health, Truman Medical Center, and University of Kansas Health System, among others.

Through their internship experiences, Kansas City scholars and others have been exposed to healthcare enterprises such as America’s Essential Hospitals, Washington DC; Atlantic Health System, Morristown, New Jersey; Atrium Health; Charlotte, NC; BJC Healthcare, St. Louis, MO; Carilion Clinic, Roanoke, VA; Duke University Hospital, Durham, NC; Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI; Hennepin Healthcare, Minneapolis, MN; University Hospitals Health System, Cleveland, OH; and Quest Diagnostics, Secaucus, New Jersey among others.

To date, BHLI has mentored 113 scholars through its leadership development program and coordinated 82 internships at 42 premier healthcare sites on behalf of the scholars.

Eighty of the Institute’s 90 scholars who have completed their undergraduate degrees are now serving in the field of healthcare or earning related graduate degrees. The BHLI is strategically and positively impacting the field of healthcare through its development of a pipeline of diverse, culturally competent talent that is committed to improving access to quality, affordable healthcare among underserved populations.

Quest Diagnostics is collaborating with BHLI to support culturally competent underrepresented scholars nationwide for leadership roles in healthcare through the intense professional development program. Quest Diagnostics and the Quest Diagnostics Foundation are supporting this program as part of Quest for Health Equity, a multi-year commitment focused on providing a combination of donated testing services, education programs, partnerships, and funding to support initiatives to close the gap in healthcare disparities in underserved communities.

“We’re honored to support BHLI and its mission to develop the next generation of healthcare leaders," said Mandell Jackson, General Manager and Vice President of Quest for Health Equity. “When the COVID-19 pandemic impacted our country, BHLI pivoted, and the Quest for Health Equity provided critical funding to support their transition to a virtual program. Our support helped BHLI to continue to empower their scholars, ensuring access to the resources, insights and education needed to advance their careers.”

“BHLI is extremely grateful for the investment and partnership with Quest for Health Equity,” said Bluford. “It’s a blessing that Quest Diagnostics has joined other high quality industry leaders in supporting our high-level intervention of top undergraduate minority scholars with influential health care professionals. We look forward to a long-term relationship with Quest to help change the trajectory of healthcare disparities.”

About Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute (BHLI)

The Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute (BHLI) is 501 (c) 3, intense professional development program with a mission to eliminate health disparities among minority and vulnerable populations by cultivating a pipeline of culturally competent underrepresented scholars for leadership roles in healthcare. Through a series of experiential activities, analysis of healthcare issues with expert national presenters, site visits, and internships, the BHLI exposes scholars to today’s healthcare landscape and challenges the future leaders to develop innovative solutions and policies to improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations. The BHLI promotes workforce development and fosters innovation among underrepresented scholars who will impact the 21st Century healthcare environment.

About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world's largest database of clinical lab results, Quest's diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve health care 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.

About Quest for Health Equity
Quest for Health Equity is an initiative of Quest Diagnostics and the Quest Diagnostics Foundation focused on providing resources, funding, testing services and education to address health disparities in underserved communities across the U.S.

Tweet me: See how the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute is empowering greater equity among future healthcare leaders with support from @QuestDX:

KEYWORDS: NYSE:DGX, Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute, Quest Diagnostics, Health Equity

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