Several of Alabama’s two-year and four-year historically black colleges and universities are joining a statewide higher education alliance to promote minority expertise and participation in the health care industries. The alliance is being formed by former Health and Human Services Secretary and Morehouse School of Medicine President Emeritus Louis Sullivan, who says the state faces a distinct need to increase the number of black and Hispanic health care professionals from its current 5.5 percent.
Of Alabama’s 55 rural counties, 51 are classified as having a shortage of primary care doctors, he said. The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), which could bring another 30 million people into the system, puts further pressure on the nation’s health care system and its professionals, Sullivan said. America will need 1.2 million additional registered nurses by 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates.
Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, J. F. Drake State Technical College, Miles College, Oakwood University, Selma University, Stillman College, Trenholm State Technical College and Tuskegee University will be the HBCUs represented at the signing of the alliance memorandum of understanding tomorrow on the University of Alabama-Birmingham campus.