Healthcare leaders acknowledge the industry is falling short when it comes to expanding management opportunities for minorities.
The news comes six years after a report triggered the formation of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management.
The 1991 report by the American College of Healthcare Executives and the National Association of Health Services Executives showed black executives held fewer chief executive officer positions and made a median salary 21% less than that of their white counterparts.
While the institute struggles to survive financially after three years in business, the healthcare industry is bracing for a new report on expanding opportunities for minorities. The report likely isn't going to show the progress leaders are looking for, has learned.
"There are some heartening findings, but there are still challenges," says ACHE President and CEO Thomas Dolan, who has seen the report.
Dolan declined to discuss specifics of the unreleased report. He says it has yet to be reviewed by executives involved in its sponsorship.
The study, expected to be released in the next few weeks, was sponsored by the ACHE, the diversity institute, the NAHSE and the Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executives. It will be wider in scope than the 1991 research, which compared only blacks and whites. The latest effort will compare Asians, Hispanics, blacks, whites and differences in sex. It appears the report's findings will be partially disappointing. "There are still areas in employment equality that we are concerned about," Dolan says.
The report will come while healthcare leaders attempt to resuscitate the institute, viewed as a key solution to the problem of expanding minorities in healthcare management.
Founded in 1994, the institute was formed to promote healthcare career opportunities for minorities. But it has fallen on hard times. In addition, it is looking for a new president and CEO with the pending departure of Walter F. Johnson III, who will leave the post Dec. 31 (Nov. 10. p. 3).
While interim help appears on the way financially, supporters are hoping for a more permanent source of funding. The institute lost $368,313 on net revenues of $681,269 in 1996. Its total expenses were just over $1 million.
The American Hospital Association, which founded the institute along with the ACHE and the NAHSE, is prepared to write off a $216,900 loan to the institute. If the institute's recently revived fund-raising efforts fall short, the AHA is prepared to tap $250,000 in cash reserves in its current budget to pull the group out of the red, executives say.
"We're prepared to help," says Richard Wade, the AHA's senior vice president of communications. "We want to get them back on sound footing. We believe in the mission of the institute, and our commitment is to support it."
Although the AHA is helping out, it views its support as "start-up" money. "We want the institute to move to independent status," Wade says.
However, the institute's board members launched an endowment campaign this year and earlier this month sent letters to prospective donors urging support (Nov. 10, p. 3).
Of 80 groups that signed on as institute sponsors in 1994, only about 20 had given donations of $5,000 or more as of the end of 1996, according to the institute's tax filings.