Dr. Louis Sullivan, President Emeritus of Morehouse School of Medicine, Dr. Walter Bowie, Dean Emeritus of the School of Veterinary Medicine at Tuskegee Institute and Anthony Rachal, Executive Vice President of Xavier University of Louisiana, College of Pharmacy, established the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools (AMHPS) in 1976, specifically to promote a national minority health agenda. To address this need, AMHPS began the task of quantifying the health status and health personnel needs of the minority community.
In 1983 it released an historic report “Blacks in the Health Professions: A National Crisis and a time for Action.” This report chronicled and provided for the first time, a comprehensive assessment on the number of African-American health professionals in all disciplines represented by AMHPS. The document, in part ignited concern within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As a result, then Secretary Margaret Heckler assembled a nationally distinguished panel of experts to address the issue of minority health. The panel issued its report in 1985, entitled “Task Force Report on Black and Minority Health.” It was one of the first federally sanctioned reports that identified the glaring disparity in the health status of Blacks, Hispanics, and the majority population.
The alumni of the AMHPS institutions, located primarily in under-served rural and inner city communities as health care providers, also make up the largest percentage of African Americans in health sciences academia. Several programs to strengthen the applicant pool and enhance retention and graduation of minority health sciences students have been pioneered by member institutions.
Today, AMHPS includes 12 historically black medical, dental, pharmacy and veterinary schools. The members include two schools of dentistry, four schools of medicine, five schools of pharmacy and one school of veterinary medicine.