Follow us on

If you're already a member, please log in. If not, please register.

Blog » Supporting a Diverse Health Care Workforce at AACOM’s Annual Conference

Supporting a Diverse Health Care Workforce at AACOM’s Annual Conference

May 3, 2019

By Mary-Lynn Bender, AACOM Interim Vice President of Government and Public Relations

Last month, ED to MED had the opportunity to highlight an important issue at Educating Leaders 2019, AACOM’s Annual Conference, namely, how federal financial aid programs can help support diversity among the health care workforce.

To explore this topic, ED to MED hosted a Town Hall in which panelists engaged in an in-depth discussion about the connections between graduate student debt and our nation’s health care workforce shortage, and shared strategies for effectively advocating for key federal financial aid programs through our grassroots campaign, whether as a student, health professional, or medical educator. Our panelists included:

  • Mustafa Basree, MS, OMS-II, University of Pikeville – Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Brookshield Laurent, DO, Vice-Chair for the Department of Clinical Medicine, New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University
  • Nicole McMillin, MPA, Director of Financial Aid, Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Perry Tsai, MD, PhD, National President, American Medical Student Association


AACOM’s Interim Vice President of Government and Public Relations, Mary-Lynn Bender, moderated the discussion as panelists explained the importance of a diverse health care workforce and described strategies they’ve employed to effectively advocate to ensure medical education is accessible for all.

Town Hall attendees also had the opportunity to ask panelists questions. Many ED to MED Campus Ambassadors shared their experiences about engaging with new advocates on their campus communities, while immediate past AACOM Senior Vice President of Government Relations, Pamela Murphy, stressed the importance of strongly advocating in support of Grad PLUS loans, emphasizing that capping this loan program could have serious consequences in fostering a culturally competent health care workforce.

Throughout the event, attendees shared their thoughts on diversity and advocacy. We’re proud of the work that ED to MED advocates have done so far on behalf of the future health care workforce and look forward to what we can accomplish in the future. Together, we’re working to support a more inclusive health care system that will positively impact communities and patients across the country. Follow ED to MED on Facebook and Twitter to find out what diversity and advocacy mean to our advocates and let them inspire you to get involved in the effort by joining ED to MED today!