249706 Increasing the pool of minorities who can contribute to the development of healthy communities through academic preparation and supportive activities

Monday, October 31, 2011

Olatunji Bamgbose, MD/MPH , School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
One of the major ways of promoting Healthy Communities is to increase the pool of members of underrepresented minority populations who can be trained in public health and other health professions and can return to those communities to provide care. Minorities face the barriers such as knowledge of health career options, poor performances in Reading, Mathematics, Science and Writing at the K-12 level, poor Standardized tests taking skills at both K-12 and College levels, and financing education. Increasing the pool of minorities who can go into health professions therefore requires addressing these barriers. Purpose: Health Careers Opportunity Program: Pathway to Health Professions (HCOPPHP), is a comprehensive education pipeline developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health to address the identified barriers. This includes 16 objectives that focus on didactic education, career exploration, mentoring, shadowing, and standardized test preparation. Participants are prepared to become part of the workforce that promotes healthy communities through activities that includes public health assemblies, public health clubs, health fairs and excursions, preliminary education in epidemiology, placement of students in public health preceptor sites, standardized test preparation classes etc. For each Objective, Initial/pretest and Final/posttest were conducted to measure the impact of the services provided. Findings/Results: 92% indicated awareness of public health; 20% increase in Standardized tests performances; 5% increase in academic performance, and over 83% graduate students obtained financial supports. Conclusions: HCOPPHP Objectives were effective in addressing the barriers faced by underrepresented minorities' students.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Demonstrate the impact of public health assemblies in increasing interest of students to do better in Mathematics, Science, Reading and Writing. 2. Discuss the impact of preliminary education in epidemiology in increasing academic achievement and School Health. 3. List at least 5 activities that can make public health “visible” and increase students’ motivation to pursue careers in health professions. 4. Describe strategies of using Standardized tests review sessions to increase the level of preparedness of students.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Evaluation Coordinator for all the 16 Objectives implemented in the education pipeline program.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.