Promoting health advocacy and policy change among students of color: The Health Disparities Summer Internship Program
Methodology: A total of 57 students (70% Black) participated in the 4-week HDSIP within the years 2012, 2013 and 2014. Students attended lectures covering topics such as health disparities, health in America, immigrant health, and policy and advocacy. While working with community-based organizations, students gained hands-on experience related to issues discussed in class. Students completed and presented research projects and provided suggestions for health policy change. Pre/post surveys were completed to assess the impact of the program.
Results: At baseline, 75% of students reported being interested in incorporating advocacy into their future careers; by the end of the program the percentage rose to 94% (p<0.05). After familiarizing students with CBPR and health advocacy, 81% of students planned to advocate for changes in their community; an increase from the initial 63% (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Introducing minority students to health professions can serve as a catalyst for lasting changes in health outcomes. The HDSIP has increased students’ awareness of social determinants of health and has fostered their interest in improving the health of minority populations.
Learning Areas:Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Describe a 4-week summer internship program in which high school students of color are exposed to health disparities research and health policy. Evaluate the effectiveness of the summer internship program in promoting interest in health advocacy.
Keyword(s): Public Health Research, Urban Health
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a graduate trainee with the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center, I was responsible for facilitating the curriculum to Health Disparities Summer Internship Program students and overseeing the completion their research projects.
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.