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IU Health grants $1 million to Indiana Latino Institute, expands community outreach

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana University Health is stepping up to the plate to diversify its staff through a one million dollar donation to a Latino organization.

“We want people at the table making decisions that represent the community, so we’re in pursuit of a workforce that looks like the patients that we serve,” the president of IU Health West Central Region, Art Vasquez, said.

It’s an achievement of two groups seeking to improve access to healthcare for Latinos through higher education.

On Thursday, IU Health gave a $1 million check to the nonprofit organization Indiana Latino Institute.

The money will be used to expand their education services for Latino students across Indiana.

“There are many indicators that prove that there’s healthcare inequities because there’s inequities in employment and that’s what we’re here to support,” Vasquez said.

“We can eradicate poverty by empowering a community through education and educated individuals make better decisions even about their health, issues, and priorities,” the president and CEO of the Indiana Latino Institute, Marlene Dotson, said.

The Indiana Latino Institute will work to provide more internship opportunites at IU Health that includes medicine, human resources, and engineering.

It’s an extension of the workforce development program that focuses on providing internship and scholarship opportunities.

“It’s really a full services leader development workforce pipeline and we’re really privileged to tap into that,” Vasquez said.

“Right now, Latinos from K-12 we are the largest minority in the state, so we have here individuals, so we have to do it provide the resources to retain, prepare, and retain the talent here,” Dotson.

Dotson also says there aren’t enough education resources for Latino students outside of Marion County.

“Resources are scattered. They don’t have all the resources that we see here in Central, so why not open the opportunity building the partnerships across the state and also streaming the current ones that we have and we’ll reach out to those students,” Dotson said.

The Indiana Latino Institute also hosts several meetings and workshops every year that focus on helping all students get the education they deserve.