The Louisiana Department of Health and the AHEC held “A Rainbow of Short White Coats” program to inspire minority students to pursue careers in healthcare

Shreveport, LA – According to the Louisiana Department of Health, this program is part of LDH’s fiscal year 2022 Business Plan strategy to diversify the state’s health workforce and improve patient experiences for people of color.

State officials said that 35 students from the Incarnate Word Head Start and Early Head Start in New Orleans were adorned in short white coats, the symbol of a commitment to lifelong learning in healthcare, which they will keep as a memento.

The students also participated in various activities. The school is operated by the Catholic Charities of New Orleans (CCANO).

Twenty schools statewide will participate in the program, implementing age-level projects and recognition programs to attract more underrepresented students to the healthcare field. CCANO and other participating schools will engage students through use of a project-based initiative developed by LDH and AHEC.

LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney Phillips released the following statement:

“Investing in and building a more diverse healthcare workforce plays a substantial role in improving health access and outcomes. When we talk about reducing and eliminating healthcare disparities, increasing minority and rural healthcare professionals to meet the diverse needs of Louisiana residents must be a priority.”