Sanders Takes Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on the Road with First Field Roundtable as Chairman
WASHINGTON, May 5 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, announced today that the committee on Friday, May 12 will hold a field roundtable at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta with leaders from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) medical schools and other health care experts to discuss how to address the crisis in our nation’s health care workforce, raise the number of Black Americans in the medical field, increase access to primary care, and improve health outcomes for Black Americans.
The event, the first field roundtable Sanders is holding as HELP Committee Chairman, will feature remarks from Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, President and CEO of Morehouse School of Medicine; Dr. Jeannette South-Paul, Executive Vice President and Provost at Meharry Medical College; Dr. Hugh E. Mighty, Senior Vice President for Health Affairs at Howard University; Dr. David Carlisle, President and CEO at Charles R. Drew University; and Dr. David J. Skorton, President and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Despite making up 13 percent of the U.S. population, Black Americans account for only 5 percent of the country’s doctors. HBCU medical schools play a meaningful role in addressing this disparity, producing 10 percent of total Black medical school graduates in 2019. While growing bodies of research show increased racial diversity of the health care workforce can reduce Black-white gaps in life expectancy, today, fewer than one in ten medical school graduates are Black. Further, the difference in median income between Black and white physicians remains unacceptably wide, with Black physicians earning on average $50,000 less than white physicians, and Black female doctors making nearly $100,000 less than their male counterparts.
The HELP Committee’s field roundtable continues efforts by Chairman Sanders to address health care workforce shortages across the country and ensure quality, affordable health care to all – from working to lower the cost of insulin, cancer medication, and all prescription drugs, to standing with unionizing care and medical workers, expanding access to primary care, and addressing the youth mental health crisis.
What: HELP Committee Field Roundtable to consider “How Can We Improve Health Workforce Diversity and Address Shortages? A Conversation with Historically Black College and University Leaders and Students”
When: 10:00 a.m. ET, Friday, May 12, 2023
Where: Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA. The event will also be livestreamed on the HELP Committee’s website and Sanders’ social media pages.