KSHB 41: KC program creates opportunities for minorities in health care, despite COVID-19
By Dia Wall
With health care front and center – alongside a push for greater diversity as communities battle the COVID-19 pandemic – scholars from one Kansas City program are ready and committed to the cause.
The Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute is a two-week experiential program in Kansas City for minority students. After completing the program, its participants, known as scholars, are placed in summer internships at premier health care institutions across the country.
Gaby Flores, director of the office of equity and diversity at Children's Mercy Hospital, said they have had a great relationship with the institute as a whole and Jasmin Guzman, who went through BHLI.
Guzman grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, and always wanted to be a nurse at CMH.
"To be a part of Children's Mercy, I honestly, I give it all to the BHLI program because they just created a really good opportunity for me as a brown person, as you say, as a Latina,” Guzman said. “So it’s been amazing.”
"Working at Children's Mercy, you run into parents that this is probably one of the lowest points of their lives. They're very vulnerable. They're very scared. They don't know what's going on and these are English-speaking families,” Guzman said. “So you can only imagine what it's like for a Spanish-speaking family."
Flores said Guzman had the chance to shadow the chief nursing officer during her two-week internship, and once being accepted into nursing school secured a nursing scholarship.
“Now I think we see the culmination of our six-year relationship with Jasmin is that she's now a contributing, belonging member of our employee work force delivering great care to the kiddos," Flores said.
The Kauffman Center, Stowers Institute and Polsinelli law firm in Kansas City all support the BHLI, along with other local organizations.
Read the full story via KSHB 41
Learn more about the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute