By Maryann Marino
The goal of an inclusive and patient-focused health care workforce is what motivates Simone Batiste to become a medical professional. Simone was born and raised in Oakland, California. She is currently a senior at the University of San Diego pursuing a degree in behavioral neuroscience with a leadership studies minor. Simone believes that the best way to help communities flourish are with patient-centered health care providers who understand the communities they serve. After graduation, Simone hopes to return to Oakland to provide care, support and advocacy for the community. Oakland is just the beginning for Simone; her goal is to serve people all over the world in marginalized, underrepresented and underserved communities.
As you may know, cultural competence in health care has gained attention as an important strategy to improve quality, access and eliminate racial/ethnic disparities. The goal is to create a health care system and workforce capable of delivering the highest quality care to every patient regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, or language proficiency. To help ensure a culturally competent health care workforce that is reflective of the 21st Century population, the United Health Foundation created the Diverse Scholars Initiative, which has funded more than 2,500 scholarships worth more than $18 million since 2007.
Simone is a scholarship recipient of the United Health Foundation’s Diverse Scholars Initiative (DSI), which is administered by the Jackie Robinson Foundation in Simone’s case. Earlier this summer, she also participated in the DSI forum in Washington, D.C., which welcomed more than 100+ scholarship recipients for several days of educational presentations to learn more about health care quality improvement, technology, innovation and policy. At the forum, Simone connected with the other future health care professionals and fellow scholarship recipients from across the United States.
To learn more about the Diverse Scholars program, and other scholarship recipients like Simone, go to https://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/social-responsibility/partners/diverse-scholars.html.