Liberal Arts/Multidisciplinary Purpose for Launching the LAIC
Bridging the Gap Between Liberal Arts and Healthcare
The purpose of the UNCF©CPI Liberal Arts Innovation Center for Healthcare Access and Equity at Voorhees College is to model and test promising practices from a liberal arts and multidisciplinary education perspective to unite the best practices in rural and minority health disparities. The Center’s liberal arts philosophy and guiding theoretical framework are anchored in the Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP). The Center’s focus is on rural and minority healthcare, which is highly influenced by Rural Promising Practices, a national model designed and implemented by the Office of Rural Health (ORH) of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
As a partner with the United Negro College Fund’s Career Pathways Initiative (UNCF©CPI), the Center is obligated to the teaching and training of students from both a liberal arts and healthcare foundation. The Association of American Colleges and University (AAC&U) asserts liberal arts education is an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. It provides students with broad knowledge of the wider world as well as in-depth study in a specific area of interest. A liberal arts education helps students develop a sense of social responsibility as well as strong and transferable intellectual and practical skills such as communication, analytical and problem-solving skills, and a demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-world settings.
The mission of Voorhees College is to produce highly qualified graduates who coalesce intellect and faith in pursuit of life-long learning, healthy living, the betterment of society, and an abiding faith in God. In accordance with the mission, Dr. Ronnie Hopkins, Interim President of Voorhees College, has issued in the College’s strategic plan, a charge and call to action articulated through the mantra: Begin. Believe. Become. Voorhees College will be nationally recognized as a premier, comprehensive liberal arts institution focused on student success, excellence, and integrity. Consistent with its mission and strategic vision, Voorhees College expresses profound interest in the competition for the UNCF©CPI Liberal Arts Innovation Center. The proposed UNCF©CPI Liberal Arts Innovation Center for Healthcare Access and Equity at Voorhees College seeks to impact rural and minority health disparities from a liberal arts and multidisciplinary perspective.
The vision for the proposed Center is to operate as a comprehensive and coordinated unit in the existing on-campus complex. The proposed Center houses an administrative unit and is comprised of “cores” that specifically address each area of its vision. The vision is to establish a comprehensive and coordinated center that provides global leadership in 1) addressing rural and minority healthcare issues through direct and virtual services, 2) facilitating scholarship and training, and 3) providing a platform to advance discourse on access, equity, and ethics from a liberal arts and interdisciplinary approach.
Although, some face-to-face activities are planned (i.e. an international conference on Minority Healthcare Access and Equity from a Liberal Arts perspective), the Center primarily operates virtually and facilitates best practices in telehealth from a liberal arts perspective. In short, the Center serves as a global clearinghouse and repository for healthcare access, training, and communication to include, but not be limited to the following: (1) on-demand presentations on health and wellness topics (e.g. Managing Your Type-2 Diabetes, The Psychology of Bad Eating in African American Communities, Healthcare Costs and You, Sociological Perspectives of Black Mental Health); (2) online and on-campus certificate programs (e.g. Abuse Prevention and Education Certification, HIV Prevention Counselor I, SC Community Health Worker Certification, etc.); (3) live speakers’ series transferred to on-demand modules (e.g. Health Care Ethics and Impacts on the African American Community); (4) medical telehealth direct access to community constituents, and (5) pre-service training in health care to students and others interested in health care professions.
Dr. Kendall Williams
Tiffany L. Grayson
LAIC Program Specialist and Office Manager