06/03/2020 - The Academy and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education sent a letter to the White House urging the administration to support their appropriations request of higher education programs for allied health professions at minority serving institutions. In a recent letter to congressional leadership, the organizations asked for $300 million in grants for allied health programs and $10 million for outreach to encourage careers in nutrition and dietetics.
African Americans and Latinos have been disproportionately impacted by infections and deaths from COVID-19. African Americans account for 13 percent of the population but 33 percent of hospitalizations from COVID-19. In Washington State, Latinos make up 13 percent of the population but 31 percent of COVID-19 cases. In Utah, Latinos account for 14 percent of the population but 38.8 percent of COVID-19 cases. This trend in health disparities is nationwide.
Currently, African Americans account for only two percent of registered dietitian nutritionists and Latinos only three percent. This initiative would allow for increased numbers of minority health professionals to provide culturally competent nutrition counselling in communities of color. Additionally, the initiative seeks to increase the numbers of young people of color going into allied health careers.