Robert Maupin, M.D., Associate Dean for Diversity and Community Engagement
During this summer’s “break” the Office of Diversity & Community engagement undertook an extremely busy and rich month of June with two concurring pipeline programs. Our newest program, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) sponsored Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) represents a collaborative effort between the LSUHSC’s Schools of Medicine, Public Health, Dentistry and Institute of Inter-Professional Education (IPE).
Under the direction of Dr. Allison Augustus-Wallace, our institution successfully hosted in residence on our campus for six weeks, 75 rising sophomore and junior Pre-Health undergraduate students from around the nation and region. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of SOM, SOPH, IPE and SOD faculty, the students completed an advanced academic enrichment and professional development curriculum designed to provided empowerment and strengthen the academic proficiency and self-efficacy of students from communities that are underrepresented in health professions.
The students were exposed to all areas of the academic health professions experience inclusive of training in our Advanced Clinical Education & Simulation labs in the SOM and SOD, and clinical shadowing rotations with Emergency Medicine, Anesthesia, Internal Medicine, OB/GYN Surgery, & Specialty Clinics at the University Medical Center. In addition to enjoying the rich culture of New Orleans the students were also exposed to powerful historical lessons thru a visit to the Whitney Plantation Museum. The tour of the Whitney Plantation along with dedicated areas of the SHPEP curriculum provided critical lessons emphasizing the importance of health equity for distressed communities. The success of the program was the direct result of the dedication of our basic science and clinical faculty and student resident assistants who went above and beyond the call of duty in supporting and educating our LSU SHPEP Scholars.
The ODCE was also excited to host approximately two dozen rising high school seniors and college freshmen from around the region in our annual Summer Science Program (SSP), under the direction Geri Davis in our program office. This is a legacy program that has been critical for our school’s pipeline efforts to groom and empower Underrepresented Minority (URM) students in our community for future success in the health professions. Summer Science students had the opportunity to work with faculty mentors in SOM Basic Science labs, Clinical Office/Hospital settings and School of Nursing Clinical Training settings across our campus community. Students worked individually with faculty mentors for four weeks, and also experienced enrichment exposures in the Clinical Simulation labs, and workshops with School of Medicine student panels. At the culmination of the program Summer Science students gave formal presentations of their learning experience to visiting family, sponsoring teachers and SSP faculty mentors. Over time SSP student alumni have become subsequent matriculating students in our Schools of Medicine and Nursing. The continued success of the SSP again rests with the dedication and time volunteered by our institution’s faculty, who have our deepest appreciation.