The groups released 8 recommendations to support action across the health care community.
Seven health care organizations, including the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), have released a joint statement1,2 reaffirming their commitment to supporting racial and ethnic diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in all areas, and at all levels, of health care.
“To effectively serve the public, leaders and practitioners in health care must understand the issues that affect the population they serve,” the full statement read.2 “Ensuring racial and ethnic diversity, equity, and inclusion among leadership is key to enhancing professional opportunities and optimal health outcomes for people of all backgrounds.”
In their statement, APhA noted that often, the path to a leadership role in the health care field “presents a disproportionate number of obstacles” for members of racial and ethnic minority communities, beginning during their education and continuing into their professional years. Action, APhA noted, must be taken to “identify and remove obstacles that limit access to leadership and professional roles.”
In addition to APhA, ASHP, and NABP, participating organizations include the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the National Pharmaceutical Association, the APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), and BHK Consulting, an organization focused on unity, equity, and justice across communities and nations with different cultures and backgrounds.
Together, these groups have outlined a list of 8 recommendations aimed at enhancing DEI across all levels of health care. These recommendations include implementing policies and programs that eliminate the financial barriers preventing Black, indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) from “entering and participating in health care professional opportunities;” incorporating DEI concepts into professional curricula; and facilitating mentorship programs for BIPOC students and new professionals. The full list of recommendations can be read in the statement.2
“Several health care organizations…have established work groups and issued reports and recommendations, making great strides to determine and document the scope and characteristics of the problem of structural racism in health care,” the statement continued. “These individual initiatives should serve as examples and a starting point for other organizations.”
“Combining and collaborating our efforts to advance knowledge, amend policies, and enhance practices in support of DEI…will ultimately benefit patients and the health care communities at all levels,” the statement concluded.
1. APhA, national organizations release statement on ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion in health care. News release. American Pharmacists Association. February 3, 2023. Accessed February 6, 2023. https://www.pharmacist.com/APhA-Press-Releases/apha-national-organizations-release-statement-on-ensuring-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-in-health-care
2. Ensuring racial and ethnic diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of health care. Published February 3, 2023. Accessed February 6, 2023. https://media.pharmacist.com/advocacy/DEI-Position-Statement-2.2.2023.pdf