Activism on social media and in the Washington DC community from Howard University stakeholders prompted a legislative change from the City Council this week, as members amended plans for a new hospital in the city to include training pathways for HU medical students.
The City’s East End Health Equity Act, which was originally drafted without consideration for Howard medical training or service provision, will now be presented for a full vote on Dec. 18 to greenlight a new facility in the city’s Southeastern district to provide enhanced access for more than 160,000 residents and a large number of low-income families.
Howard, which had long served as the primary healthcare resource for Ward 7 and 8 in the area, lost in its bid to manage the new facility to George Washington University. But university officials praised the amendment and the the advocacy from HU students and graduates who rallied online and in the city council meeting on Tuesday.
We Are Still Here! #HowardMedicineMatters https://t.co/3qRDkSZuMu
“Together, we made a significant impact. I am deeply appreciative for the myriad ways our community rallied in support of #HowardMedicineMatters,” said Howard President Wayne A.I. Frederick in a statement. “Thousands of alumni, faculty, staff and students wrote letters, emails, and participated in thought-provoking dialogue across social media. I am especially humbled and impressed by the vigilance of our students, our future health care leaders who, for countless hours, attended the day-long D.C. Council meeting and demanded that their voices be heard. They were heard and should be applauded!”
The final vote will be taken up in the days following the conclusion of classes at Howard.