Minority enrichment programs play a vitally important role in current efforts to increase the number of health care providers from underrepresented racial and ethnic populations and other disadvantaged groups. However, the existence of minority enrichment programs is challenged by recent changes in the political and economic environment, including the sharp reduction of federal funding support in 2006. This article presents case studies of two longitudinal minority enrichment programs located in Chicago, Illinois: the Urban Health Program (UHP) of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Chicago Area Health and Medical Career Program (CAHMCP) at Illinois Institute of Technology. Prior to the cuts in federal funding, in 2005, we conducted in-person interviews with administrative staff of the two programs. The qualitative data were supplemented with follow-up interviews conducted in 2008 with directors of the programs. During the interviews, we discussed how the programs responded to the budget cuts and how the programs viewed their future prospects. The results of the study indicated that adequate funding is crucial for the continued success of these minority enrichment programs in ensuring a viable health professions pipeline.
- Continuing professional development
- Social accountability