Diversifying the Physician Workforce
Grant Program (DPW Grant)

About the DPW Grant Program


The Diversifying the Physician Workforce Grant Program (DPW Grant) was created and funded by the NAPCA Foundation to address the nation’s continuing need for a diverse physician workforce, to reduce our nation’s physician shortage, and to increase the number of physicians from groups that have been historically underrepresented in medicine. 

The mission of the DPW partnership grant program is to diversify the future physician and healthcare workforce by building a strong pipeline of future medical doctors and scientists, as early as the 4th grade, who are prepared to succeed in pre-med or pre-health university coursework, medical school and beyond. 

This mission is directed toward a single, overarching “big goal”, also known as Goal 2035, which is to increase the percentage of U.S. doctors and scientists who are underrepresented in the physician and healthcare workforce from the current rate of 11% to 20% by the year 2035. 

To achieve Goal 2035, the DPW partnership grant program uses a partnership model, which encourages the Medical Physician Preparation Academy (MPP Academy), an early outreach medical school preparation pipeline program, and a network of higher education partners (regionally accredited medical schools and four-year universities across the U.S.) to work together to build a diverse pipeline of future medical doctors and scientists, as early as 4th grade, for the physician and healthcare workforce that is more representative of the U.S. population.


We acknowledge that Goal 2035 is an audacious goal. Still, our work suggests that meeting this goal is essential to the health of our country, as a diverse physician and healthcare workforce is better equipped to address the myriad health disparities as well as to change the systemic racial inequities that exist in our healthcare system.

Specifically, the Association of American Medical Colleges projects the U.S. will see a physician shortage of nearly 122,000 doctors from 2018-2033 (AAMC). Only 11% of U.S. medical doctors come from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds although they represent nearly 40% of racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. population currently (AAMC, 2022; U.S. Census Bureau, 2020). 

In addition, studies show that racial, ethnic, and gender diversity among medical and health professionals promotes better access to health care, improves health care quality for underserved populations, and better meets the health care needs of our increasingly diverse population. Yet, our physician and healthcare workforce does not adequately reflect the actual racial, ethnic, or gender makeup of the U.S. population. Therefore, the DPW partnership grant program is committed to building a diverse pipeline of future medical doctors and scientists, as early as 4th grade, for the physician and healthcare workforce that is more representative of the U.S. population.

We believe that Goal 2035 is attainable if:

  • Students are prepared academically, financially, and socially for success in pre-med or pre-health coursework and medical school education.
  • Medical schools strengthen their investment in early outreach pipeline programs to create diverse applicant pools and increase the number of students underrepresented in medicine who are prepared to enter and graduate from medical school.
  • Medical school matriculation and completion rates improve significantly for underrepresented students in medicine.
  • Medical schools expand their capacity to serve more students and support creation of alternative delivery systems for medical school education.

Change of this magnitude will only be possible with the active engagement and support of many organizations and individuals. That is why the MPP Academy and the NAPCA Foundation is eager to partner with leaders in the medical community, medical schools, colleges and universities, state and federal governments, businesses and labor, philanthropists, and others committed to making Goal 2035 a reality.


  • To diversify the medical and health care profession and/or address health disparities by building a strong pipeline of future medical doctors, as early as 4th grade, that is more representative of the U.S. population.
  • To provide early exposure to science as well as medicine, and promote further exploration, cultivation, and preparation for medical careers.
  • To increase the number of high achieving students who are academically and mentally prepared with the social-emotional skills to: 1) complete medical school and earn a doctorate degree in medicine and 2) become licensed to practice medicine in a medical specialty that provides a sense of purpose and meaning to their lives.
  • To improve the health care received by minority and disadvantaged populations by increasing the number of professionals from diverse backgrounds that are trained in medical and healthcare-related fields and return to serve them.
  • To expand the MPP Academy program to every regionally accredited medical school and four-year university with a school of medicine across the U.S that believes in Goal 2035.


The NAPCA Foundation’s DPW Grant Partnership Grant Program, in accordance with applicable federal and state law, does not discriminate based on race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected basis.

DPW Grant Selection Criteria

There are important factors the NAPCA Foundation and the MPP Academy Office of DEI & CP considers in selecting and approving universities and medical schools to partner with for the DPW grant opportunity:

  • Commitment to the MPP Academy Office of DEI & CP goals to expand diverse student access for medical school prerequisite education and build a better prepared pipeline of students who are interested in the field of medicine.
  • Regionally accredited public or private universities and medical schools that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, AAMC, Liaison Committee on Medication Education (LCME), and American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA)
  • Strategic location in various regions across the U.S. where the MPP Academy Office of DEI & CP desires to expand access for students.
  • MD (Allopathic) or DO (Osteopathic) medical school programs or 4-year academic degree programs.
  • Interest in developing a partner relationship with the MPP Academy Office of DEI & CP.
  • Schools, colleges, departments, research foundations, research centers, or student organizations within the university that have an interest in partnering with the MPP Academy to delivery early outreach medical school preparation pipeline programs to local elementary, middle, high school, and undergraduate students on-campus and virtually.

DPW Guidelines and Benefits


The approved university agrees to host and permit the MPP Program Site Director to work with appropriate university staff from DEI, schools, colleges, departments, research centers, research foundations, or student organizations to determine and schedule use of classroom space and other campus facilities at no-cost to conduct the MPP Academy Programs and expand access for diverse students. MPP will bring a team of staff to administer the MPP Academy Programs when scheduled.


The university will assist the MPP Academy Office of DEI & CP with promoting a half-time MPP Site Director position within their college or university, medical school, or department. The MPP Site Director parameters include:

  • The employee is a full-time or part-time associate professor, assistant professor, or a part-time adjunct faculty member.
  • The MPP Academy Office of DEI & CP staff will hire the half-time MPP Program Site Director, who will be carefully vetted and undergo extensive background as well as reference checks.
  • The MPP Site Director will have co-responsibilities congruent with a member of the MPP Academy staff to plan, implement, and evaluate the MPP Academy at the host university site to ensure successful program implementation.

Benefits for the DPW Grant partner can include:

  • Increased visibility with parents and stakeholders by supporting high-achieving students to reach their aspirations in medicine.
  • Greater exposure to university undergraduate programs as well as increased future medical school applicants.
  • Stakeholders and community laurels for supporting better preparation of future medical school students.
  • Positive public relations regarding expansion of medical school prerequisite educational access to diverse students.
  • Accolades for reinforcing career education for disadvantaged and underrepresented students.
  • Stakeholder commendations for helping ensure the future physician workforce is more representative of the U.S. population.
  • Public recognition for delivering pipeline programs that aim to:
    • Increase future medical services in underserved areas of the nation
    • Reduce our nation’s physician shortage
    • Increase the number of physicians from groups that have been historically underrepresented in medicine. 

Become a DPW Grant Partner

We are so pleased that your university desires to become a partner with the MPP Academy Office of DEI & CP to benefit from the DPW grant funding. The process is as follows:

  • Review the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Appendix A
  • Complete the MOU
  • Process it through the chain of command for approval

Anticipated DPW Grant partnership outcomes include:

  • Greater exposure to university undergraduate/graduate math, biology, chemistry, pre-med, and medical school programs.
  • Increased future medical school applicants.
  • Notable stakeholder visibility by supporting a training program designed to decrease the future doctor shortage.
  • Opportunities for Future Physician Pipeline (FPP) Scholarships for university undergraduates if desired. University staff would identify and nominate a certain number of students who meet the following criteria:
    • Academic Criteria:
      High achievement in math and/or sciences with a GPA of at least a 3.00 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) in academic courses completed within the last 12 months of submitting an admissions application.
    • Personal Commitment:
      Takes ownership of future college and career goals and is committed to strengthening academic and mental preparation for medical school.
    • Career Interest Criteria:
      An interest to explore or pursue a career in the field of medicine, healthcare, and/or science.

University staff who are interested in nominating students should contact the MPP Academy Office of DEI & CP at 800-799-4640, Ext. 820 or deicp@mppacademy.org.

Fundraise for DPW Grant Fund

Team DPW Grant is a community of individuals actively fundraising in support of the DPW Grant Program. Whether developing an independent campaign or joining an event organized by Team DPW, staff members are united in the shared goal of building awareness about the DPW Grant while raising funds so that more students can benefit from the MPP Academy. To get involved, contact our office at 800-799-4640 Ext. 820. For more information, refer to https://mppacademy.org/ and https://napcafoundation.org/ as needed.

Application Information

Eligible Applicants:

501c3 organizations that are committed to increasing the diversity of the physician workforce and target elementary and secondary students underrepresented in medicine and that come from families with limited financial resources.


Sectarian Religious Activities, Building Funds, Endowment

Application Deadlines:

  • Grants for Programs that Target Elementary Students (Grades 3-5): October 1, annually
  • Grants for Programs that Target Secondary Students (Grades 6-12): November 1, annually

Application Procedures

We regularly identify and cultivate relationships with nonprofit organizations and other foundations with programs and initiatives that align with our guidelines. However, unsolicited letters of inquiry are also accepted by the foundation.

Making an Unsolicited Request

If you are submitting an unsolicited request, please submit a letter of inquiry (LOI) via email to NAPCA Foundation Grants Administration and include the following:

  1. A brief description of the proposed project
  2. A description of how the project fits with the work of the foundation, including the specific strategic goal that applies
  3. An estimated timeline
  4. The amount requested
  5. Contact information

There are no due dates for LOIs, and we will generally respond within six to eight weeks.

DPW Grant Staff

If you have any questions, please contact us:

Dr. Aaron W. Smith

Co-Chair & Executive Director


800-799-4640 ext. 801

Dr. MariLuz Roth



800-799-4640 ext. 823

Amanda Vasquez



800-799-4640 ext. 803

Dr. Donna Fearnside

Co-Director, DEI Initiatives & University Partnerships


800-799-4640 ext. 815

Ashlea Lee

Community Outreach Manager


800-799-4640 ext. 820

Dr. Annica Meza-Dawe

Co-Director, DEI Initiatives & University Partnerships


800-799-4640 ext. 826