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In the News: Coverage of Blue Shield of California's Investment in Health Equity Fellowship at Cal Berkeley

20 students in the Blue Shield of California Health Equity Fellowship program will begin in August 2022

Blue Shield of California is investing $7 million for five years as part of a new fellowship program at UC Berkeley School of Public Health to support graduate students from underrepresented communities. Both HealthPayer Intelligence and The Daily Californian – the student newspaper at UC Berkeley – covered the announcement made May 19.

HealthPayer Intelligence:

fellowship illustration bw

The program aims to attract students from a range of ethnicities and racial backgrounds such as African American, Latino, Native American, and Pacific Islander. These groups tend to not be represented in senior healthcare positions.

“The health inequities that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic have shown us the need to build healthcare policies and practices in a culturally sensitive way,” said DD Johnice, vice president of the Health Transformation Lab at Blue Shield of California. 

“Having members of underrepresented communities on the teams that design and build new health solutions, as well as lead innovative healthcare organizations, is critical to transforming health care. We cannot achieve health equity without growing and supporting diverse, top talent.”

Read the full story here.

The Daily Californian:

Graduate students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees admitted into the program will be given training in how to use data and analytics to improve public health and equity in their communities, according to Blue Shield spokesperson Mark Seelig.

A goal of Blue Shield is to hire many of the fellows upon graduation, Seelig added.

Seelig noted that in addition to financial aid, the program will provide fellows with professional experience such as internships and access to mentors. Fellows will also have access to early outreach and recruitment, tutoring and career services, educational and mental health counseling, networking opportunities with fellowship alumni and opportunities to apply biostatistics and advanced analytics expertise to real business challenges.

Read the full story here.