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Frequently Asked Questions


Is The Sullivan Alliance a grant-making organization?

The Sullivan Alliance is not a grant-making organization but it regularly partners with organizations and institutions to secure funding for projects that address the 62 policy recommendations for system change in the reports: In the Nation’s Compelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health Workforce, and Missing Persons: Minorities in the Health Professions.

What are The Sullivan Alliance’s mission and goals?

The Sullivan Alliance is a non-profit organization which seeks to strengthen the capacity and quality of the nation’s health workforce by increasing the numbers of ethnic and racial minorities within the health professions. Alliance activities focus on the intersection of workforce, education, and healthcare.

Why is health workforce diversity an important issue?

The lack of minority health professionals is considered one of the major contributors to health disparities as it has a profound impact on access to care and quality of care. It is critical for the nation’s health and economic vitality that the health workforce grow and become more diverse to better reflect the country's changing demographics.

Today, one in three Americans is a member of a racial or ethnic minority group, with African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and American Indians making up more than 30% of the nation’s population. If one looks at this statistic just for those under the age of 20, the percentage rises to 43%.

Yet, these groups account for only 12.3% of physicians, 7% of dentists, 10% of pharmacists, and 11% of Registered Nurses. These groups are also severely underrepresented among all health professions including faculty members, deans, provosts, hospital administrators and health policy experts.

Effectively addressing our country's health disparities and increasing the health workforce will benefit all of our citizens as well as strengthen the nation's economy. A recent study shows that primary care physicians generate substantial economic activity for their communities. In fact, a single family physician, along with their team of allied health professionals, can generate almost $1 million in annual economic impact.

Can I join The Sullivan Alliance as an individual? Can my organization join?

The Sullivan Alliance is not a membership organization. However, it is interested in developing partnerships with organizations and institutions active in:

  • Strengthening the educational pipeline to the healthcare professions
  • Financing education in the health professions
  • Increasing institutional accountability in achieving diversity
  • Improving admissions policies and practices
  • Reducing financial barriers to students and families
  • Encouraging diversity efforts through accreditation
  • Improving institutional climate
  • Applying community benefit principles to diversity efforts, and
  • Creating mechanisms to encourage support for diversity efforts

The Alliance believes that continuing to build state and regional alliances will ensure that important and effective initiatives to diversify the health workforce will begin to directly support national policy change. This will result in more well-trained health professionals from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds available to provide quality healthcare to our nation in the decades ahead.

What is a state alliance?

Most of the current state and regional alliance efforts are based on formal collaborations between community colleges, minority undergraduate colleges and academic health centers. These institutional state partners act as “pathfinders” to identify and test best practices to diversify the health workforce.

The Alliance promotes, facilitates, and guides the development of statewide and regional alliances whose priorities are aimed at programs, projects, and institutional commitment to diversify the health workforce. It encourages each alliance to develop its own unique focus and interventions within a framework that has been developed through experience and best practices, aimed at creating successful state and regional alliances.

Does The Sullivan Alliance offer scholarships or grants?

The Sullivan Alliance does not provide direct support of individuals or organizations.

Does The Sullivan Alliance lobby for its programs?

The Sullivan Alliance is a non-profit organization with 501C.3 status and as such, it does not participate in any lobbying activities.

Is Dr. Sullivan available to speak at events?

Louis W. Sullivan, M.D., Chairman and C.E.O. of The Sullivan Alliance as well as our distinguished Board Members are regularly available to speak at events where there is an opportunity to highlight the pressing issues of health disparities and the need to increase the numbers and diversity of the healthcare workforce.