When it comes to health care, representation matters. Studies show that patients served by a health care professional representing them are more likely to receive lifesaving preventative care services, improving patient outcomes and health disparities.

In April, Bank of America partnered with Metropolitan State University of Denver to increase the workforce pipeline of Latinx students entering health fields, investing $250,000 over two years.

The multi-year grant is part of Bank of America’s commitment to advancing racial equality and economic opportunity through their national Progresando initiative, which addresses the shortage of culturally sensitive, Spanish-speaking health care providers by expanding education and employment opportunities for Latinx adults. Hispanic Serving Institutions like MSU Denver play a vital role in post-COVID growth and equity after the pandemic exacerbated employment inequities across Latinx representation; only 5.6% of nurses identify as Hispanic or Latinx.

bank of america logo

“The University’s innovative wraparound services model – mentorship, navigators and other student supports – was well underway, which is why the choice to build on our existing partnership with MSU Denver was clear,” said Erica McIntire, Colorado market executive, Bank of America.

“By increasing Latinx representation in the health care industry, we can address employment inequities, connecting them to careers that offer long-term stability and economic opportunity, while serving vulnerable communities with accessible and affordable health care.”

As one of 12 higher ed institutions across the country selected to participate, MSU Denver will receive a direct investment from Bank of America and expertise, tools and resources from Education Technology, Services, and Research. The grant will support up to 100 students annually, providing stipends for internships and cohort-model wraparound services, such as community building and networking with peers and mentors, guest speakers and regular check-ins with a program coordinator.

“MSU Denver is creating Colorado’s next generation of diverse health professionals,” said Emily Matuszewicz, D.C., director, Health Institute at MSU Denver. “We know that when providers are of the same ethnicity as patients, patients do better.”

“Our one-of-a-kind partnership with Bank of America reduces barriers and empowers students entering health-related fields. Together, we are building Colorado’s future workforce and preparing graduates to address the health needs of underserved Latinx communities.”

Bank of America’s investment in the future of health care education at MSU Denver will extend well beyond the campus; having a diverse health care workforce means safer, healthier and stronger communities.

“MSU Denver’s proven track record of connecting with employers ensures that, together, we’ll make positive impacts in underserved communities, on the workforce and in our economy,” said McIntire. “We’re thrilled to partner with this incredible institution.”