Health & Medicine presents at Illinois Minority Health Conference - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Health & Medicine presents at Illinois Minority Health Conference

December 8, 2023

Ronisha Edwards-Elliot, director of Chicago AHEC and workforce programs, presented about the impact of race-blind college admissions and minority health at Illinois State University’s 2023 Illinois Minority Health Conference on December 4 and 5. 

The conference, “Achieving a Health Illinois by Eliminating Health Disparities,” aimed to raise awareness of health disparities and social justice issues, build competencies among healthcare professionals, and foster collaboration among service providers and community partners. Attendees included public health workers, undergraduate and graduate students, health professionals, and community-based organizations. 

Edwards-Elliot’s presentation, “Impact of Race Blind College Admissions on Minority Community Health,” discussed the Supreme Court’s June 2023 ruling against race-conscious admissions and its impact on education opportunities for underrepresented groups, which will ultimately limit pathways for students of color to pursue health care careers and obstruct health care improvements in under-resourced communities. The research concluded that this decision will ultimately harm health outcomes for people of color. 

“Indirectly, there is very likely to be a decreased pool of available healthcare providers of color who have achieved college degrees to serve communities of color,” she said. “This means the positive effects of racial concordance in health care will be reduced in communities of color, canceling gains recently made in improving life expectancy.” 

Mia Bonds, Chicago AHEC program coordinator; Mia Hayford, Workforce Policy Analyst & Schweitzer Fellows Program Coordinator; and Karol Dean, Program Director, Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellowship all contributed research to this presentation. 

View Edwards-Elliot’s presentation poster here.