Greenlining believes diversity is important in all sectors of society, but nowhere is this more essential than health. We regularly interact with health care providers and insurers about some of the most sensitive and personal issues we face, and the ability to deal with someone who speaks your language — both literally and figuratively — can make all the difference. The health care field must reflect the growing diversity of the United States, especially here in California, in order to deliver the highest quality care.
Greenlining promotes diversity throughout the health field, from the boards and executive suites of major health care providers and insurers to the providers who care directly for patients. Boys and men of color are particularly underrepresented in the health workforce, and face disturbingly high unemployment rates. Our 2014 report, Pathways Out of Poverty: Boys and Men of Color and Jobs in the Health Sector, highlighted the obstacles that keep boys and men of color from pursuing these careers, and suggested possible solutions. We will continue to work with stakeholders to make these solutions a reality, including working with fellow advocates and educators to promote pipeline programs aimed at bringing people from diverse backgrounds into the health workforce. We also play a key role in coalitions such as the California Health Workforce Alliance, California Health Professions Consortium, and Boys and Men of Color Alliance.
Greenlining sponsored legislation passed in 2012 that requires the state’s largest insurers to report the extent to which they contract with businesses owned by minorities, women and disabled veterans. We produced our first report on this effort in October 2013, and will continue to monitor supplier diversity in the health insurance industry.
Because much important health work is done in the nonprofit sector, we advocate for increased philanthropy within the health care sector, and in particular for philanthropy focused on the needs of underserved communities.