Eliminating health disparities are one of many goals.
BHLI scholars visit Operation Breakthrough
2019 Cohort, Jada Large and John W. Bluford, III, President and Founder, BHLI
Recently, Our Health Matters spoke to several scholars presenting their research on healthcare topics that public health and healthcare leaders are tackling everyday somewhere in our nation. These scholars are affiliated with the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute (BHLI). Universities represented by these scholars include:
- Bethune-Cookman University
- Emory University
- Fisk University
- Florida A&M University
- Morehouse College
- North Carolina A&T State University
- Rockhurst University
- Spelman College
- University of Missouri-Kansas City
- Washington University in St. Louis
We interviewed one of BHLI’s rising stars, Kansas Citian Jada Large, who is well on her way to becoming a healthcare leader as she enters her junior year at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.
On May 28th, BHLI welcomed 14 scholars from universities across the country to complete Phase I (a 16-day overview to healthcare leadership) which included site visits to Cerner, Federal Reserve Bank, Kansas City Health Department, Operation Breakthrough, Swope Health, and Truman Medical Center (TMC). Keynote speakers included Dr. Rex Archer, Director, Health Department of Kansas City; Dr. Ann Cary, Dean, School of Nursing and Health Studies at University of Missouri-Kansas City; Dr. Valerie Chow, Chair of Anesthesiology, TMC Lakewood; Dr. Roy Jensen, Director, University of Kansas Cancer Center; Richard Pollack, President/CEO of the American Hospital Association; Dr. Bruce Siegel, President/CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals; and Qiana Thomason, Vice President Community Health, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, among others.
Our Health Matters (OHM): What is BHLI teaching you about leadership principles?
JADA: Active listening and effective communication are important components of leadership. Several speakers emphasized the importance of being present in a conversation, e.g., not being on electronic devices and asking good questions. Dr. Bruce Siegel said that effective leaders create a safe space for others’ ideas and ensure that others know their ideas are being heard.
OHM: Which presentation impacted you the most?
JADA: Two statements from Qiana Thomason’s Success to Significance presentation particularly resonated. First, “Show me your friends, and I will show you your future.” Secondly, “Never waste a good crisis, as from crises come great opportunities.”
OHM: What impact did the BHLI have on you personally?
JADA: I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in health to eliminate disparities in healthcare from outside the clinical realms of a physician, but I did not know exactly what my role would be. The BHLI provided clarity about leadership careers within the field. I realized the significant difference that one can make when sitting in a C-suite (corporate executive suite position). The BHLI developed my executive presence, and I feel that I am leaving the Institute a better, more confident communicator and critical thinker who can be successful in a leadership role.
OHM: What did you learn about access to care for vulnerable populations?
JADA: I learned that social determinants of health are primary factors that influence one’s health outcomes. While visiting the Kansas City Health Department, I learned about the differences in life expectancy by zip code throughout the city; there is nearly a 15 year difference between the affluent and less affluent areas of the city. Safety ‘quality’ net hospitals are valuable community assets because not only do they provide medical services for vulnerable populations, but they also work to address social determinants, such as transportation and lack of access to healthy food.
OHM: What key concept did you learn during the BHLI that you will implement immediately?
JADA: The fact that everything matters (even the smallest details) is a concept that I will implement for both myself and for organizations to which I belong.
Bluford states, “Jada is one of 32 outstanding metro Scholars who has participated in the Institute. This is the first in a series of inspiring articles as we witness her development through multiple experiences, working internships and full-time employment in the health field.”
Founded in 2013 by John W. Bluford, III, the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute (BHLI) develops culturally competent leaders who will serve to eliminate healthcare disparities among minority and vulnerable patient populations. The BHLI is a three-phase program that develops, mentors, and sponsors talented scholars for healthcare leadership. To date BHLI has mentored 51 alumni scholars who are serving in the health field in Kansas City and beyond.