Career Entry Competencies
Graduates will demonstrate the skills necessary to advocate for diverse patient populations to include individuals and groups facing health care disparities and cultural needs within the United States. Graduates will advocate for patients and their family members who may have concerns or questions regarding health services within an institution to facilitate and promote continuous quality improvements in health care services.
At career entry, the DDA graduate will demonstrate the following entry level skills.
- Assess patient social determinates of health.
- Provide referrals to community-based resources.
- Ensure service linkage care.
- Advocate to reduce barriers and service gaps in patient care.
- Document and report client management and resources of need.
- Develop and deliver health care team and client cultural diversity training.
- Applying a team-based approach to care while working in partnership with patients/families to promote timely access to care, understanding of patient care that is culturally sensitive and language appropriate, continuity of care, and the improvement of the whole-person.
- Act as a Liaison for the patient, patient’s family members and visitors.
- Seeks out and responds to questions and inquiries that is of patient concern.
- Advise all relevant departments of our health care customers concerns that require staff intervention.
- Act as a Grievance Coordinator to understand, investigate, and take action on ethical issues, sensitive approaches, and care team’s interactions with patient and the patient’s family members.
- Act as an Information Resource to aid in gathering information through interactions with community, state, and national resources to ensure gathering and utilizing current data collection for patient populations.
- Act as an Institutional Change Agent to discuss patients and their family member’s reasoning for institutional changes based on recurring complaints, and results from surveys and advisory councils.
> Mature, experienced
> Focused on learning
> Professional & goal-oriented
> First of its type in the country
> Online delivery for working adults
> Variety of specialized faculty
Acceptance to the School of Health Professions is competitive, and students are admitted twice a year. The Admissions Review Committee considers the following items in the review process: Overall GPA, Math and Science GPA, completion of prerequisite courses, essay, professional references and interview. Visit the How to Apply page for more information.
Estimated tuition and fees for 12 semester credit hours is $2,000; Students participate in clinical preceptorships to gain professional experience.
Graduates’ Employment Outlook
Graduates of the Healthcare Disparities, Diversity and Advocacy Program have many opportunities for future employment as they guide patients to positively impact their overall health outcomes. Employment is found in hospitals, non-profit organizations, community agencies or independent practices. Depending on the institution, graduates may be responsible for interviewing patients, identifying care problems, making referrals to appropriate healthcare services, directing patient inquiries or complaints, facilitating satisfactory resolutions, explaining policies to patients, assisting patients with choosing doctors, discussing treatment options, keeping track of prescriptions, accompanying patients to doctor appointments or conducting studies regarding quality of care.
Graduates of the HCDDA program may apply for positions at hospitals, cancer centers, rehab facilities, nursing homes, clinics, government agencies, insurance companies or for-profit advocacy firms. Graduates in this profession have opportunities for income growth, work-life balance, social impact, and solid job prospects.
The reports that the average annual salary for patient advocates is $52,520. Graduates with little experience may earn $31,790 annually, with the potential to earn $75,140 annually with additional years of work experience.
Monica Blanton, B.S.
Senior Admistrative Assistant
Strategic Comm-Community Relations
I am so PROUD to have received a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Disparities, Diversity and Advocacy (DDA). This program was a BIG eye-opener for me. I learned so much about the health disparities that plague our world from the past and, for our future. Being able to do this program online with a few face-to-face lectures was perfect for my schedule since I worked full-time. The instructors were very professional and flexible with their time to assist students throughout the semester. The program classes were very informative and cohesive to today’s needs and knowledge of healthcare disparities, diversity and advocacy. I love to think that I actually received three degrees in one! This degree affords me the ability to accept positions in several healthcare areas that assist and educate patients, educate our communities and advocate in areas that I am concerned about within our communities. My degree has given me more insight into how I think and interact with our community programs, even in my current position.
Irene Cormack-Pinal, B.S.- DDA
Melanoma Medical Oncology
Even though I have been in Health Care for 17 years, the DDA program has opened my eyes to different aspects of health care that I had not been exposed to. There are so many things I have learned about health care disparities, advocacy issues, global health, medical ethics, healthcare policies, research methods, cultural competence, and patient experience. The DDA program covered all the medical issues and much more. The professors have been there from day one all through my journey.
Stephanie F. Kim
Director, Community Relations and Education
I didn’t know much about the Health Care Disparities, Diversity and Advocacy (DDA) program when a member of my team, Monica Blanton, decided to apply. From a department leader perspective, I’m always excited when someone wants to further their education and when they pursue a degree that related to our department’s goals, it’s even better! Monica was able to do her preceptorship with us, which was an added bonus in my opinion. She worked on one of our education programs, In the Spirit of Health, that educates African-Americans on ways to reduce their cancer risk through a newsletter distributed at church. Monica used her knowledge gained in the DDA program to recruit new churches to participate, decide on topics to address, communicate regularly with church leaders and participate in the program evaluation.
Because our team has a focus on reaching African-American, Hispanic and Vietnamese communities, Monica also has helped us continue to learn about diversity and inclusion. After graduating from the DDA program, Monica brought her knowledge to our team by coordinating diversity activities and being an active participant in our discussions on health equity, racism and social injustice. Her thoughts and perspective have helped grow our programs and improve our knowledge as a team.