skip to main content


Title: Towards a Model for Inclusive Healthcare Access post COVID-19
The devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed years of cyclic inequalities faced by disadvantaged and minority communities. Unequal access to healthcare and a lack of financial resources further exacerbates their suffering, especially during a pandemic. In such critical conditions, information technology-based healthcare services can be an efficient way of increasing access to healthcare for these communities. In this paper, we put forward a decision model for guiding the distribution of IT-based healthcare services for racial minorities. We augment the Health Belief Model by adding financial and technology beliefs. We posit that financial inclusion of minority populations increases their ability to access technology and, by extension, IT-based healthcare services. Financial inclusion and the use of secure private technologies like federated learning can indeed enable greater access to healthcare services for minorities. Therefore, we incorporate financial, health, and technology tools to develop a model for equitable delivery of healthcare services and test its applicability in different use-case scenarios.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2029685
NSF-PAR ID:
10341707
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the 55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Page Range / eLocation ID:
3738-3747
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Achieving Change in our Communities for Equity and Student Success (ACCESS) in STEM at the University of Washington Tacoma started as a Track 1 S-STEM program in 2018 and has supported 69 students to date. This year we received Track 2 funding and welcomed our fifth cohort to campus, with funding to support ~32 additional students through 2026. University of Washington Tacoma is an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institution (AANAPISI), and we serve a high proportion of racial minority and first generation college students. Our ACCESS scholars are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics, Environmental Science, Biomedical Sciences, Information Technology, Computer Science and Systems, Computer Engineering and Systems, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Civil Engineering, with Computer Science and Engineering representing over 60% of ACCESS scholars to date. First-time college students and first-year transfer students receive full scholarships for their first two years, and partial scholarships for their third and fourth years. The project includes an optional Early Fall Math course to enhance entry into STEM majors, and participants are able to engage in a Research Experience or project-based Introduction to Engineering course in their first year. Coupled with individual faculty mentoring and an on-campus STEM living learning community, the quarterly Success in STEM seminar course helps scholars form a cohesive community through group mentoring, as well as develop a sense of belonging, identity, and empowerment to transform the culture of STEM. This program is distinguished by its focus on pre-STEM majors in their first and second years on campus, and includes mentor training for ~30-40 faculty in teaching and mentoring diverse student populations, thus impacting all students in our majors. Our goal was to evaluate the effectiveness of a program that focuses on the first two years of college and provides financial support, courses to introduce students to research and project-based engineering, and intensive mentoring in increasing retention and academic success for Computer Science and Engineering (CS+E) students, and whether this program helps to close equity gaps for CS+E students who are low socioeconomic status (SES), underrepresented minorities (URMs), female, and/or first generation in college (First Gen) students. We compared our student scholars to a comparison group of students who met eligibility requirements but did not participate in the program. Program scholars had higher first and second year retention, and had significantly higher GPAs. The pandemic resulted in significant social, emotional, and economic stresses for our program scholars, which may have heightened the impact of the ACCESS in STEM program. 
    more » « less
  2. Reddy, S. ; Winter, J.S. ; Padmanabhan, S. (Ed.)
    AI applications are poised to transform health care, revolutionizing benefits for individuals, communities, and health-care systems. As the articles in this special issue aptly illustrate, AI innovations in healthcare are maturing from early success in medical imaging and robotic process automation, promising a broad range of new applications. This is evidenced by the rapid deployment of AI to address critical challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including disease diagnosis and monitoring, drug discovery, and vaccine development. At the heart of these innovations is the health data required for deep learning applications. Rapid accumulation of data, along with improved data quality, data sharing, and standardization, enable development of deep learning algorithms in many healthcare applications. One of the great challenges for healthcare AI is effective governance of these data—ensuring thoughtful aggregation and appropriate access to fuel innovation and improve patient outcomes and healthcare system efficiency while protecting the privacy and security of data subjects. Yet the literature on data governance has rarely looked beyond important pragmatic issues related to privacy and security. Less consideration has been given to unexpected or undesirable outcomes of healthcare in AI, such as clinician deskilling, algorithmic bias, the “regulatory vacuum”, and lack of public engagement. Amidst growing calls for ethical governance of algorithms, Reddy et al. developed a governance model for AI in healthcare delivery, focusing on principles of fairness, accountability, and transparency (FAT), and trustworthiness, and calling for wider discussion. Winter and Davidson emphasize the need to identify underlying values of healthcare data and use, noting the many competing interests and goals for use of health data—such as healthcare system efficiency and reform, patient and community health, intellectual property development, and monetization. Beyond the important considerations of privacy and security, governance must consider who will benefit from healthcare AI, and who will not. Whose values drive health AI innovation and use? How can we ensure that innovations are not limited to the wealthiest individuals or nations? As large technology companies begin to partner with health care systems, and as personally generated health data (PGHD) (e.g., fitness trackers, continuous glucose monitors, health information searches on the Internet) proliferate, who has oversight of these complex technical systems, which are essentially a black box? To tackle these complex and important issues, it is important to acknowledge that we have entered a new technical, organizational, and policy environment due to linked data, big data analytics, and AI. Data governance is no longer the responsibility of a single organization. Rather, multiple networked entities play a role and responsibilities may be blurred. This also raises many concerns related to data localization and jurisdiction—who is responsible for data governance? In this emerging environment, data may no longer be effectively governed through traditional policy models or instruments. 
    more » « less
  3. During the COVID - 19 pandemic, the United States (US) operated a patchwork response of varying closures and restrictions that depended on individual states. At the federal level, efforts to address COVID - 19 risk focused primarily on elderly populations and largely ignored the disproportionately high risk of COVID - 19 exposure among Black , Latin x, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and otherwise queer - identifying (LGBTQ+) populations . These groups have elevated risk of COVID - 1 9 exposure due to social, political, and economic vulnerabilities that structure poor health. In this paper, I describe how a grassroots racial, sexual, and gender justice organization responded to state failings in meeting the needs of LGBTQ+ Black and Latinx populations during the COVID - 19 pandemic. Drawing from ongoing ethnographic fieldwork in Orlando, Florida, that began in 2016 following the Pulse shooting, I describe how a social justice organization advanced a notion of intersectional belonging in response to the absence of health and social services during the COVID - 19 pandemic. Specifically, I show how one organization, the Contigo Fund, created an LGBTQ+ COVID - 19 relief effort that provided financial assistance to Black and Latinx LGBTQ+ populations when the state of Florida failed to marshal resources for its most marginalized communities . The state’s failure is just one of many ways the state has historically refused to meet the needs of populations with intersecting queer and racial minority identities , reproducing longstanding health and social inequities. Overall, I argue that the Contigo Fund’s response demonstrates how grassroots mobilization can challenge the necropolitcs of state - sponsored neglect and advance health equity 
    more » « less
  4. This is a work-in-progress paper. The flipped classroom (FC) model is a well established teaching strategy dating to 1970’s practices in the Soviet Union. FC has two decades of use in post-secondary education since it was proposed by Lage et al. However, breaking studies find no academic improvement with FC model among minority students. Rather, it distances at-risk students. Indeed, certain demographics prefer authoritative over dialogic instruction style. We are motivated to determine FCs effectiveness with students at a medium-sized Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and Minority Serving Institution (MSI). For one of our NSF grant activities, we piloted two variations of the flipped classroom model. The key idea is that literature finds that FC classes need better regulation of underperforming students. Generally, the FC models in our work included peer-instruction, active learning, recorded lectures, and pre-assessment quizzes. There were no post-assessment assignments or traditional homework. Some sections employed Just-in-Time-Teaching, and careful selection of groups according to skill (within-class homogenous grouping). Other sections experimented with diversity and inclusion-based grouping and project-based learning. Students at the university are non-traditional, a term used to describe individuals who meet some of the following criteria: having a significant gap between post-secondary education and high-school graduation, being financially independent from their parents, having dependents, and working twenty or more hours per week. 60% of the individuals at our campus are Pell eligible. We study an intersectional inequality: wage-based work is disinclined to accommodate students attending lecture during the work day, and minorities may not prefer dialogic instruction. We analyze student attitudes since Fall 2020, among tens of class sections and hundreds of students. Class sections in the study are upper-division core courses in Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering. Data is collected from mostly online sections during the COVID-19 pandemic. A pre- and post-surveys were administered collecting demographic information and student attitudes. Hispanic/Latino(a) students found videos to be a complete study medium—that it was not required to seek out third-party materials to prepare for class. They found the class to be more engaging, and self-identified that they could identify previous concepts important to the task at hand. Results were surprising because there were no statistically significant differences with a general population’s exposure to FC. Hispanic/Latino(a)s find the FC model described in our work engaging and effective. 
    more » « less
  5. null (Ed.)
    The overall goal of the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) S-STEM funded "Attracting and Cultivating Cybersecurity Experts and Scholars through Scholarships" (ACCESS) program is to increase Cybersecurity-related STEM degree completion of low-income, high-achieving undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need and to generate knowledge about academic success, retention, persistence, graduation, and career pathways of these students to improve the education of future STEM workers. Specifically, ACCESS aims to contribute towards addressing the tremendous governmental and industry need for highly skilled cybersecurity experts. Program objectives include: (1) increasing annual enrollment of students in the B.S. in Computer and Information Sciences programs with specialization in Cybersecurity; (2) enhancing curricular and extra-curricular student support services and activities for students; (3) strengthening the partnerships with computer and information technology employers; and (4) investigating the impact of the curricular and co-curricular activities on student success. While significant research has been done relative to student success, retention, and persistence to graduation in STEM fields, cybersecurity is a new field of study and factors affecting student recruitment, academic success, retention, persistence to graduation within this field are not known. In year 1, students were recruited, applications were evaluated, and scholarships were awarded to nine academically talented students, beginning fall 2020. Of these students, four are female (one is from an underrepresented minority population) and five are male (three are from underrepresented minority populations). The students engage in a set of co-curriculum activities, including participation in: outreach activities; technical and career development seminars; a cybersecurity-focused student organization; and potentially, cybersecurity undergraduate research and summer internship opportunities. The paper and poster describe the background of the ACCESS program, recruitment and selection of ACCESS scholarship recipients, project activities, and challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    more » « less