In the spirit of Black History Month, the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) hosted a symposium on Wednesday, Feb. 27, that focused on the need and importance of minorities in the healthcare workforce. A panel of guest speakers examined this issue in depth and opened the floor for questions and comments from the attendees.
The evening’s panel of speakers included Tracey Vause-Earland, occupational therapist at Thomas Jefferson Hospital, USP’s Cathy Poon, PharmD, vice chair and associate professor in the department of pharmacy practice and administration, and Kim Nixon-Cave, PhD, associate professor of physical therapy and clinical manager at CHOP.
Despite the tremendous amount of diversity in this country, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) reports that almost 91 percent of its members are white, and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) reports similar statistics. SOTA believes that diversifying the healthcare workforce is vital in providing quality care for all Americans. A culturally diverse healthcare workforce can offer improved service to some minority populations who relate better to healthcare professionals with a similar ethnic heritage.