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Health Careers Boot Camp Series: Increasing the Health Professions Pipeline in California’s Central Valley

The California Health Sciences University (CHSU) Health Sciences Library, in collaboration with the CHSU Simulation Center, Marketing and Communications, and faculty and staff in the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) and the College of Pharmacy (COP) strive to educate the next generation of health professionals to serve the people of the state of California, particularly in the Central Valley. We seek to engage high school students from underrepresented populations and in areas of highest need. Our Health Careers Boot Camp series will target first-generation, and economically and educationally disadvantaged high school students in the districts of Fresno and Madera counties, two of the Central Valley’s seven counties, beginning in the summer 2020 and continuing throughout the award year. To this end, we will offer a series of Health Careers Boot Camps geared towards prospective students and applicants. Our goal is to spark the interest of prospective students not only in our own programs of osteopathic medicine and pharmacy, but also in collaborating educational institutions offering programs in many health careers such as respiratory therapy, medical assistance, nursing, emergency medical services (EMS), paramedic and infection control. Active hands on experiences will be demonstrated in inpatient hospital scenario simulations as well as outpatient medical office simulation settings. The Health Careers Boot Camp series will include demonstrations of cutting-edge technology with a focus on simulation-based education, human anatomy, and the biomedical and clinical sciences. In addition, National Library of Medicine (NLM) databases, such as MedlinePlus and PubMed will be highlighted in order to increase awareness of health information resources for aspiring health professionals, and to better integrate the role of libraries in health professions education and training. NLM database presentations and health careers software demonstrations will be led by health sciences librarians, simulation specialists, and anatomy and biomedical sciences faculty. High School students with an interest in the health professions, such as medicine, nursing, paramedic/EMS, medical assisting, pharmacy, respiratory therapy, and infection control, as well as faculty, and community health care providers throughout California’s Central Valley, will benefit from enhanced access to high fidelity simulation manikins, realistic patient cases, task trainer equipment, along with access to, and training on how to locate high-quality, evidence-based health information available through the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and other reputable resources. The Express Outreach Award, entitled, Health Careers Boot Camp Series: Increasing the Health Professions Pipeline in California’s Central Valley, will allow the Health Sciences Library to collaborate with the Simulation Center, Marketing and Communications, and faculty from the COM and COP, and to participate in a series of Health Careers Boot Camps, geared towards high school students from California’s Central Valley with an interest in the health professions. This Express Outreach Award will support the NLM’s Strategic Plan, to “accelerate discovery and advance health through data-driven research”; and to “reach more people in more ways through enhanced dissemination and engagement” (U.S. National Library of Medicine, NLM Board of Regents, 2017). The target populations will include economically and educationally disadvantaged high school students residing in California’s Central Valley district, representing two of its seven counties - Fresno and Madera. Groups of up to ten students will be invited to the CHSU campus to participate in a series of half day Boot Camps and to gain hands-on exposure to medical and health sciences career opportunities. The target populations will visit a series of health career stations and receive information about the specific health professions. They will engage with interactive technology and simulators used for education in healthcare and participate in demonstrations of some of the latest technologies. Students will also have opportunities for hands-on practice based on a medical or health sciences career while interacting and being assisted by current medical students at CHSU. CHSU has established outreach programs specifically to connect with California’s Central Valley students. Although the focus is to have high school students from underrepresented populations comprise most of the Health Careers Boot Camp participants, students from any demographic background are welcome to attend. The CHSU Marketing and Communications Department will extend invitations to the high school allied health careers program as a first choice. Any high school can choose to open the opportunity up to other students should there be an interest. It would be up to the high school to develop the criteria for student selection. Instructors within these courses can determine which students meet the intention of the program. Parent and instructor consent are required. It would be suggested to the instructors of these courses to request a written essay from students interested in attending and make decisions based on the written content, interest in attending, reason for considering a health career and any research done by the student on medical careers.

Identify any specific population(s) this project will serve: 
Medically Underserved Areas/Populations
Behavioral/Social Determinants of Health
Latino or Hispanic
Identify roles of participants this project will serve: 
Educator, K-12
Health care provider
Library or information professional
Public health professional
Student, K-12
Project Lead:
Joanne Marie Muellenbach
Funding Source: 
Project Funding:
Federal Fiscal Year: 
Funding Amount: 
Funding Period:
Sep 1, 2020 to Apr 30, 2021
Project Status: