Surveys of the health services research (HSR) and health policy fields have shown that the racial and ethnic makeup of the field of HSR does not reflect the populations for whom we hope to improve health and health care.
As the professional society for the field, AcademyHealth believes that the inclusion of diverse individuals, with equally diverse perspectives and training, leads to a richer and more nuanced understanding of health and health care issues. Diversity among our members and the field at large, in terms of race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other historically underrepresented backgrounds, is therefore a priority for AcademyHealth.
It is because of this commitment that AcademyHealth, in partnership with the Aetna Foundation, has established the AcademyHealth/Aetna Scholars in Residence Fellowship Program to promote diversity and inclusion in science. Housed within the AcademyHealth Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Minority Engagement in HSR Research, this fellowship is designed to retain underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities* in health services research by providing professional, training, and networking opportunities for junior to mid-level researchers and clinical practitioners, who are conducting disparities research with a focus on population health, to present their research.
*AcademyHealth defines underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities in the field of HSR as the following groups: Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders. This definition is supported by findings of a recent study by Johnson and Holve.