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Diversity Initiatives

Strategic Initiatives

Admissions Strategic Initiatives

The PA Program Admissions Team strives to:
  • Continue a holistic admissions process to ensure enrollment meets the program’s goal of promoting diversity in the classroom and the PA profession. An applicants’ diverse experiences, academic record, as well as program readiness are all considered as part of the holistic review.
  • Partner with the Yale University School of Medicine Diversity, Inclusion, Community Engagement, and Equity (DICE) Office to ensure compliance and equitable admissions review.
  • Recruit diverse members of the admissions committee. Train admissions committee to be reflective of the diversity our program is seeking in the student body. Provide implicit bias training for interviewers on an annual basis.
  • Continue outreach and recruitment efforts, with a particular emphasis on pre-health students, to maintain and grow diversity within the PA profession.

Student Led Initiatives

The Physician Associate Program encourage our students to promote diversity and inclusion in our community by supporting local programs. Below are of testimonials from those engaged in diversity and inclusion initiatives:
  • PA students participate in the student-run HAVEN Free Clinic associated with Yale School of Medicine which provides primary care services to uninsured patients in Greater New Haven. They also participate in the annual HAVEN fundraiser called ¡ANDA! 5K, which raises about 70 percent of the total annual budget.
  • IRIS (Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services) is a nonprofit organization in New Haven, Connecticut that supports the resettlement of refugees in our community. The PA students continue to participate in fundraising for this organization as well as supporting the YNHH Refugee Clinic by providing medical assistance.
  • YPNP (Yale Patient Navigator Program) is a student collaboration between the Yale School of Medicine MD and PA Programs, Yale School of Nursing, Yale College, and Yale School of Public Health who work with adult and pediatric patients referred from the Primary Care Center, the Refugee Clinic, and IRIS - Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services. YPNP aims to address barriers to care by connecting patients with health and psychosocial resources. Navigators work alongside patients to address social and economic barriers to health, including housing, food insecurity, transportation, medication reminders, and appointment scheduling. Specific roles of navigators include supporting patients at clinic appointments; learning about agencies and organizations in Greater New Haven; calling patients to follow up on clinic appointments, medications, and resources; communicating with providers and documenting on Epic; conducting home visits (optional, not currently being done due to Covid-19). The program is a valuable opportunity to build longitudinal relationships with patients and gain knowledge about resources available throughout the New Haven community.
  • The PA students participated in the Yale New Haven Health COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics administering COVID vaccinations to the New Haven community of residents, students, and employees.
Below are testimonials from those engaged in diversity and inclusion initiatives:
  • PAs in Color (PIC) is a social media platform that inspires underrepresented people to consider becoming Physician Assistants by featuring diverse narratives in the field and the vital role PAs have in the healthcare system, while rallying current PAs to advocate for a more inclusive profession. PIC started as my PAEA Health Policy Fellowship project but has grown into a lively community of PA hopefuls, students, and allies.
  • PAs for Latinx Health (PALH) is one of AAPA’s officially recognized caucuses. Members have a shared interest in improving health services and addressing disparities in the Latinx community. As a student representative, I support this mission by representing the student community and connecting them to the services provided by the caucus. I also support PALH’s mission to improve diversity in our field!
Students participate in a thesis research project which is a graduation requirement. Below are thesis topics that focused on diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Co 2021 Thesis Topics:

Cost of Treatment Conversations Between Primary Care Clinicians and Patients Living with Diabetes
Thesis centered around treatment cost, in which I sought to assess the frequency of cost-of-treatment conversations between primary care providers and their patients living with diabetes. Aimed to include an underrepresented patient population by making my cross-sectional study bilingual (English and Spanish) and inclusive of patients of color. I found that while approximately 1/3 of patients surveyed reported concern over the cost of their medication, only 11% reported having discussed cost with their PCP. I hope to use this data to inspire more research into the topic of treatment cost and patient-provider communication.

Culturally-Adapted Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Bilingual Latinx with Depressive Symptoms
The prevalence of depression is particularly high in the Latinx population, and this population is associated with lower rates of depression diagnosis and treatment. One intervention that has shown to be effective in treating mild to moderate depression is cognitive behavioral therapy. Though the effects of culturally adapted therapy, language being the most common adaptation, have been studied, the difference in outcomes for bilingual, bicultural speakers has not been examined. In this randomized control trial, we will compare the effectiveness of Spanish language cognitive behavioral therapy (S-CBT) to that of English language therapy in bilingual, foreign-born, Latinx patients with depressive symptoms. We expect patients will have a statistically significant difference from baseline in their depressive symptoms at six months. This work may help improve access to effective care for depressive symptoms in this population and may suggest broader use of “native-language therapy” to improve outcomes.

The Effect of Doula Support on the Rate of Cesarean Section in Low-Risk Pregnant Black Women
This research proposal strives to establish if doula birth support is associated with decreased cesarean section rates and other adverse maternal outcomes, including mortality, hemorrhage, and infection, in low-risk pregnant Black women. The overarching goal is to identify an evidence-based intervention as a factor of the solution in combating obstetric racism and improving outcomes for Black mothers in the US by recognizing the need for research focused on Black women to close the health disparity gaps seen today. This proposal hopes to achieve this by analyzing how a doula may mitigate the negative influences social determinants of health and experiences of discrimination to improve black maternal outcomes.

Equity and Use of Telehealth Modalities Among People Living with HIV During the COVID-19 Pandemic
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, PA, medical, nursing, and public health students served their communities by providing tech support and enrolling patients for video visits at Yale clinics. As one of these students, I discussed the choice of video versus telephone visits with many patients. I began to wonder - What types of visits are patients attending? What factors influence their attendance of a video versus telephone visit? How would answers to these questions contribute to our understanding of health equity? This paper is a humble attempt in beginning to explore these questions.