OUR MISSION & VISION
Mission: MERIT educates and empowers students from underrepresented backgrounds to become health professionals and change agents who advance equity.
Vision: Tomorrow's health workforce will reflect the diversity of the communities it serves.
Similar to other fields, the health workforce of does not reflect the communities it serves.
HRSA, The Registered Nurse Population, 2010
AAMC, Diversity in the Physician Workforce, 2010
[Add] Something here about the importance of diversity in medicine and health careers. Lack of diversity in healthcare itself has a role in the health disparities that we see today.
Minority health professionals are more likely to practice in underserved communities.
Patients are more likely to adhere to their care plan if they share a similar background or identity with their provider.
A diverse workforce is more likely to shift the research agenda to problems that disproportionately impact minority patients.
The health disparities present in Baltimore, and across the country, are complex and rooted in systemic racism. More often than not, one's quality of life is dictated by where they were born and the advantages they had growing up.
In the case of Baltimore, a person living in Roland Park, one of the city's wealthiest communities, is expected to live almost 20 years longer than someone in Sandtown, a low-income neighborhood just five miles south. Whether the barriers for each person stems from issues in healthcare, housing, food access, and/or more, it is clear that the solutions to reducing health disparities will have to similarly be multifaceted and dynamic.
Despite the benefits of increasing minority representation in health care, persistent inequality prevents many prospective students from pursing a medical, STEM, or health-related career.
MERIT was founded on the ideas that a diverse health workforce can be a key lever in reducing health disparities and that the best solutions lie within those communities most impacted by injustices.
There has never been a better or more critical time for MERIT and a more diverse health care workforce. It will take all of us to prepare our scholars to become positive agents for change. Together, we can build a coalition of health care advocates able to tackle the complex problems facing our communities.
Together, we can change the face of health care
We are champions for change and will not rest until we have created a diverse health care workforce that ensures everyone has access to high-quality health care.
We are willing to roll up our sleeves, work long hours, and do whatever it takes to achieve our common goals. Our relentless nature allows us to reach accomplishments others deem impossible.
We continuously seek opportunities to improve and humbly welcome critical feedback. Meeting expectations is not enough; we strive to be great. We perceive setbacks as opportunities for learning rather than permanent failures.
We are a family whose bonds stand the test of time. We pick each other up on the toughest days, and celebrate together on the best days. Regardless, we always have each other's backs.
We understand how our present actions directly lead to future consequences, not only for ourselves, but, more importantly, for those around us. As a result, we demonstrate genuine ambition, determination, and a sense of urgency to achieve our goals.
LONG TERM GOALS
College Graduates - 80% of
MERIT alumni will earn a bachelor's an/or graduate degree by 2030.
Health Professionals - 35% of MERIT alumni will be in the health workforce or enrolled in a health professional graduate school track by 2030.
Change Agents - 80% of
MERIT alumni will have participated in or led organizations, programs, and initiatives designed to improve the health and wellbeing of systemically marginalized individuals and communities by 2030.
College Support: Develop partnerships, programming, and an individual support model to propel alumni to become college graduates, health professionals, and change agents.
Model Replication: Secure a large grant and partnerships to pilot the program in a new city between school year 2022 and 2025, without detracting from the Baltimore based program.
Data Infrastructure: Improve data systems, processes, and people by increasing data staff capacity, transitioning to an enterprise database, and empowering staff to develop new processes.
External Communication: Disseminate MERIT's promising practices and inspirational scholar stories to a broader audience.
MERIT's Classes of 2017 and 2018
Find out more about how the MERIT Health Leadership Academy is empowering the future health leaders of Baltimore: