152818 Philanthropy, academia and agency sponsorship: Partnership to eliminate health disparities and cultivate public health leadership in the Constitution State

Monday, November 5, 2007

Stephenie R. Guess, BA , Department of Public Health, Southern CT State University, New Haven, CT
Rose Abreu-Sanchez, BS , Department of Public Health, Southern CT State University, New Haven, CT
Valerie Lane, BS , Department of Public Health, Southern CT State University, New Haven, CT
The elimination of health disparities, one goal of Healthy People 2010, depends upon diversifying the public health workforce. To achieve this goal there must be an increase in degrees awarded to members of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. In Connecticut there are few MPH-trained minority public health practitioners, so Southern Connecticut State University Department of Public Health implemented an innovative Graduate Minority Scholars Program to address this inequity. The first cohort of scholars began in the fall of 2006.

The Scholars Program is collaborative in concept, scope and operation. Financially supported by the Connecticut Health Foundation, all costs are provided throughout the two-year, full-time MPH program, including membership and attendance for the American Public Health Association and The Society for Public Health Education. One important entry criteria was that the students be employed in a health and human service agency that is committed to supporting their education.

While the students work and attend graduate school full-time, the faculty provide special mentoring to assure scholar retention. Academics are focused on planning, administering, and evaluating health promotion interventions within a culturally competent framework. The scholars also participate in disparity seminars for students and faculty, thereby sharing their knowledge, skills, and insights. Ultimately, they will engage in disparity related research and internships within their home agencies.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the racial and ethnic make-up of the public health workforce 2. Articulate how disparities can be eliminated through workforce diversity 3. Discuss the value of supporting academic training for students from underrepresented groups

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.