263525 Health Science Academy at Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health: OST Model to Prepare the Next Generation of Minority Public Health Practitioners

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ruth C. Browne, ScD , Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, Brooklyn, NY
Ese Oghenejobo, Education Coordinator , Health Science Academy, Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, Brooklyn, NY
Merrill Black, MA , Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, Brooklyn, NY
Simon Shamass, Medical Student , School of Medicine, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
Background: A 2006 HRSA review of 55 studies revealed that minority healthcare professionals tend to practice in underserved communities and have better rapport with their minority patients, improving health outcomes. Despite these documented benefits, the percentage of minority practitioners has remained stagnant since the first medical schools were desegregated in 1909. Housed in multi-ethnic Brooklyn's only academic medical center, the Health Science Academy (HSA), draws on SUNY Downstate's resources to offer an OST science enrichment program for minority high school students based on an innovative three-year physiology and anatomy curriculum.

Methods: Focusing on health disparities and their social determinants, the curriculum includes methods in community participatory research, laboratory visits, dissections, strategies for academic success and exposure to six body systems using guest speakers, simulations, and patient oriented problem solving. Clinical healthcare students and public health professionals serve as faculty and role models. Instructors are trained to engage students, facilitating reflection and collaborative learning. The core program is augmented with a middle school career exploration program and summer internships providing more in-depth training in research methodology and health disparities. Students conduct research projects at local Community-base organizations and present their findings and recommendations to local policy makers.

Results: Most Health Science Academy graduates go on to college, with almost 70% crediting the Academy in influencing their career aspirations. A survey of participants indicated students' increased interest in improving the health of their families and neighborhoods.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Program planning
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Define “underrepresented minority” and describe the impact on health outcomes Differentiate between the design of in-school science curriculum and after-school program targeting health disparities and describe implications for career development List three critical program elements addressing this gap

Keywords: Community Health, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I, Mary Eustace Valmont, Ph.D., am the Health Science Academy’s Associate Director for Health Science Education at the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, Inc.’s. I direct a health science enrichment OST program that serves over 300 middle and high school students in Brooklyn, New York.
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.