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Promoting Diversity in Healthcare

Posted by Media Centre on November 26, 2015 in News

Dalhousie University is pleased to recognize the recent support from the Johnson Scholarship Foundation of two Dalhousie programs that encourage and support Aboriginal and African Nova Scotian students to consider careers in healthcare. Promoting Leadership in Health for African Nova Scotians (PLANS) and Aboriginal Health Sciences Initiative (AHSI) will receive up to $3.25 million in additional funding thanks to the Foundation.

“As the province’s leading university with the highest concentration of health programs, we have a responsibility to nurture diversity in our academic programs so that our graduating classes represent the communities in which they will live and work,” says Richard Florizone, President of Dalhousie University. “We thank the Johnson Scholarship Foundation for their generous support.”

The Johnson Foundation, which aims to improve access to education for underrepresented groups, has committed to matching all gifts to PLANS and AHSI up to $1 million.

“We’re very excited about partnering with Dalhousie on this important project,” says Malcolm Macleod, the Foundation’s president. “The additional scholarships and expanded support mechanisms will improve access to education and build capacity in these underrepresents groups, and ultimately strengthen the healthcare system.”

“Patients who receive care from professionals who reflect their cultural background have better experiences in the health-care system,” says Dr. Anderson, Dean of Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine.  

The U.S. – based Foundation, in partnership with Dalhousie University, will help PLANS and AHSI both provide a variety of outreach, mentorship and financial support to students in an effort to help address the cultural disparity in Nova Scotia’s health care system.

Leah Jones, a second-year medical student at Dalhousie, says it was through her role as a mentor that she found the inspiration to follow her dream of becoming a doctor. “As a young Black woman, when I see a Black female physician, it feels like they are my role model. I want others to see the same in me,” she says. “Programs such as this will help support and encourage students like me to enter the health professions.”

Dalhousie’s faculties of health professions, dentistry and medicine graduate more than 1,000 healthcare professionals every year, many of whom launch their careers in Nova Scotia.




Janet Bryson

Dalhousie University




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