As a Latina, first-generation immigrant, and former Dreamer, I’m all too familiar with the barriers people of color face when seeking healthcare. My decision to become a physician wasn’t just about clinical work. I was also committed to reforming the system to make medicine more equitable and accessible for all. This has led me to uplift and mentor minority physicians, teach cultural competence, advocate for diverse medical school applicants, and, ultimately, to step into an executive role at Vituity.
I believe that clinicians are naturally driven to make a difference. Be it substance abuse, gun violence, houselessness, or health disparities, we see firsthand the challenges facing our communities. COVID-19 has further galvanized us to action. In a world where 1 in 7 children lives in poverty and 140,000 have lost a parent to the pandemic, we must understand that our communities need health as much as healthcare. The good news is that we are well positioned to provide practical yet transformative solutions.
If you’re passionate about a cause, we at Vituity want to empower you to effect change. Whether you’re innovating within your hospital, mentoring future clinicians, advocating for policy change, or hitting the streets to care for unhoused patients, we offer the support you need to make an impact. Here are just a few of the opportunities you’ll have to make a difference.
Vituity Cares is a charitable foundation dedicated to improving the health of underserved communities and addressing inequity in healthcare. The foundation offers Vituity clinicians and employees rewarding opportunities to give back.
Current Vituity Cares initiatives include:
One of our most popular initiatives among Vituity providers is our pop-up clinic program. Unhoused people have always had a high disease burden but were especially hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. By holding temporary clinics at encampments, we can provide free physical exams, prescription refills, vaccinations, and wound care. Our clinician volunteers describe this program as highly rewarding and say it brings fresh meaning to their practices.
Vituity Innovation Grants offer the financial support and resources clinicians need to transform care at their practices. In 2020, Vituity provided nearly $400,000 in grant funding to 37 provider-led projects—and the program continues to grow. Examples of grant-supported projects include:
Grant recipient Omar Guzman, MD, an emergency physician at Kaweah Delta Medical Center, launched a street medicine program to serve unhoused people in California’s Central Valley. Clinician teams (often fronted by medical students and residents) visit local encampments to care for patients and deliver needed supplies. ED teams across Vituity are now launching similar street medicine programs based on Guzman’s model.
Vituity’s Administrative Fellowship is an immersive one-year program for future healthcare leaders. In addition to receiving intensive mentoring and leadership development, fellows complete a year-long project in an area of their choosing. Many former fellowship projects have evolved into signature programs that now benefit Vituity patients across the country.
For example, one fellow was concerned about behavioral health patients presenting to the ED. Many were waiting hours or days for an inpatient psychiatric bed while receiving little or no treatment. To foster timely and compassionate care, the fellow designed a toolkit that later evolved into Vituity’s Emergency Psychiatric Intervention (EPI) program.
EPI has since been adopted by Vituity EDs across the country. In 2021, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the American College of Emergency Physicians honored EPI with the Innovation in Acute Care Suicide Prevention Award.
Vituity is committed to actively creating pathways for future generations of diverse leaders. One example is our IMPACT forums, which are designed to help minority residents and medical students successfully navigate the professional journey. These free educational events offer encouragement, career advice, and inspiring perspectives from practicing physicians. Discussion topics include:
On a personal note, I recently had the privilege of serving on an IMPACT panel. The participants’ questions took me back to a time in my early career where I felt like I was up against many barriers. I was able to share some of my struggles and how these inspired me to get involved with medical school admissions to advocate for diverse applicants.
As a clinician, you have a unique opportunity to shed light on injustice and build a more inclusive healthcare system. Vituity empowers you to use your unique talents to make a difference for your patients and community. From national support and funding to uplifting mentorship, you’ll find the support you need to make sustainable change while building a rewarding career.
Learn more about Vituity’s actions to promote healthcare justice.