Mission, Vision & Values
- To help immigrants and refugees who have some healthcare education and experience be fully employed
- To improve healthcare in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties by making the workforce more diverse
Our vision includes a healthcare system that is more effective because it has a workforce that reflects the cultural diversity of its patient population and more immigrants who are fully employed in health care professions.
Our values are commitments to:
- helping immigrants and refugees navigate complex paths to achieve their healthcare career goals;
- partnerships with high quality educators and healthcare providers;
- careful use of foundation, corporate, and government resources that support our work.
History & Key Accomplishments
- Only program of this kind serving Alameda and Contra Costa Counties
- Year one: 142 participants
- 54% internationally trained healthcare professionals
- 85% women
- 63% Asian, 11% Latino, 11% African, 8% South Asian, 4% Middle Eastern, 2% European representing 28 countries
- 22 job placements, 18 within the health sector
- Successful pilot program 2010-2011 supported by the Bay Area Workforce Funding Collaborative and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- Pilot program results engaged a founding board of directors with many leaders in healthcare and public policy
- DHTI established in 2012 by former Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker
- Early financial support from regional foundations and corporations:
The San Francisco Foundation
The California Wellness Foundation
Y & H Soda Foundation
California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD)
Need for Healthcare Workers
Alameda and Contra Costa Counties (the East Bay) = 44% of the Bay Area population
East Bay is a unique, very diverse area
Network of community and state colleges and universities with healthcare education programs
Home to leading healthcare providers like Kaiser Permanente, who pioneered key strategies of healthcare reform
Affordable Care Act is increasing demand on healthcare services and focusing on outcomes; diversity is seen by many as a contributor to positive outcomes.
DHTI's Theory of Change
- Bay area healthcare providers serve an increasingly diverse population with a resulting need for a diverse workforce.
- Only the most resourceful people are immigrants and refugees in the U.S., but those who come with successful health care education and work experience in their home countries, still face many serious barriers to full employment in the U.S.
- Allied health careers offer immigrants great potential for employment, self-sufficiency, and professional growth.
- DHTI’s programs that help immigrants and refugees bridge these employment gaps result in a dual benefit: for the immigrant and for the health care employer.
Maria has a college degree and worked as a pediatrician in her home country but she will face barriers to finding comparable work in the U.S. She will have to:
a) assess and document the comparability of her education and work experience to satisfy U.S. licensing standards;
b) develop a career pathway that is informed by the U.S. healthcare marketplace and likely downgrade to one of many allied health care fields that is unfamiliar to her;
c) navigate her way through the complex system of community and four-year colleges, training programs, and prep classes for licensing exams, and
d) identify and gather the financial resources—probably thousands of dollars--necessary to take meaningful steps toward her goal.
- Educators and employers have told DHTI that most immigrant students and employees need supplemental training and education to be successful. Many do not complete education plans, others do well on technical parts of work or learning but struggle on the job.
- Immigrants and refugees must have more than basic English language skills. DHTI services include:
- Soft skills, such as, an understanding of the health care work place, patient relations and communications
- Computer skills that are needed starting with the job application and continuing through to maintenance of patient records.
- Exposure to the work environment with discussion of allied health career pathway options.
- Counseling about career paths and options, education and licensing requirements
The DHTI strategy broadens the Welcome Back model of career and educational counseling, because the complex and changing systems of accountability and reimbursement in the U.S. means that work incentives are distinctly different from cash and carry systems elsewhere in the world.
Our desired results are:
- pipelines to healthcare institutions and employers are established
- participants are successful in navigating and thriving within healthcare education and training programs
- education and employment success for the immigrant, educator and employer.
Launch program components that address the problems from three perspectives:
- immigrants’ need for soft skills and selection of a promising career in the allied healthcare field;
- educators needs to support students through full completion of an education plan; and
- employers’ needs where enhanced recruitment services or employee remediation are needed
Because the DHTI program scale is still very modest, strive for some diversity among participants to demonstrate credibility of the program model
Maximize involvement of partners:
Alameda Healthcare Services
Asian Health Services
Berkeley Health Center
East Bay Health Center
Who We Serve
Maria may have college degrees and many years of experience as a pediatrician in her home country but she will face barriers to finding comparable work in the U.S.
The lack of minority health professionals is compounding the nation’s persistent racial and ethnic health disparities. Health profession schools should work to increase the number of multi-lingual students.
“Missing Persons: Minorities in the Health Professions,” published by The Sullivan Commission chaired by former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Louis W. Sullivan, 2004.
“It is time to refocus, reinforce and repeat the message that health disparities exist and that health equity benefits everyone.”
Kathleen Sibelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities, Goal II: Strengthen the Nations Health and Human Services Infrastructure and Workforce, 2010