The University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions and the other five health colleges associated with UF Health have received a $415,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help develop a pilot project for the 2017 Summer Health Professions Education Program, or SHPEP. The program will enable 80 underrepresented and minority students to take part in the free six-week summer residential program at UF designed to facilitate interest in, successful application to and matriculation into health professions education.
Students in the program will explore opportunities in dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physician assistant, public health and health professions, and veterinary medicine. The grant, plus in-kind contributions from each of the six colleges, will pay for the development and implementation of the pilot program.
Florida was selected as one of four new SHPEP sites this year, joining nine other sites across the U.S. UF is the only participating institution in the country that hosts a veterinary medicine program.
The Summer Health Professions Education program is intended for underrepresented students and those from communities of socioeconomic and educational disadvantage who are interested in careers in health care. The program will pay for transportation, food and on-campus room and board while providing access to information and resources that will strengthen their knowledge and understanding of each field.
“The opportunity for all six of our colleges to collaborate on a multidisciplinary Summer Health Professions Education Program is so valuable, not only to UF Health, but to students across the country who, because of various socioeconomic factors, have not previously had the privilege of being exposed to health professions,” said Dr. Tom Pearson, executive vice president for research and education at UF Health. “We are thrilled to participate in this program and look forward to hosting students passionate about health professions in an extraordinary environment here at UF Health. We have the full range of health professions on a contiguous campus at UF and the best supporting cast in training and practice to lead SHPEP at the University of Florida.”
The expanded summer enrichment program will expose students to a multitude of areas, including academic enrichment, learning and study skill development, leadership and communication skill development, clinical exposure and career development. The curriculum will include health policy education, financial literacy and a civil rights workshop.