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Funded Projects

Grant Status: Completed

Grant Title: Pathways for Students into Health Professions

Project Director(s):

Alice A. Kuo, MD, PhD
University of California, Los Angeles
Center for Healthier Children, Families & Communities
10990 Wilshire Blvd, STE 900
Los Angeles, CA  90024-3913
Phone: 310-794-2583
FAX: (310) 312-9210
Email: akuo@mednet.ucla.edu


With this proposal, we will expand the UCLA Pathways for Students into Health Professions (PSHP) Program, which focuses on ensuring the success of underrepresented minority undergraduate students at UCLA who wish to pursue careers in maternal and child health professions. The PSHP Program provides a unique and exciting curriculum for the PSHP students as well as the support and resources to optimize their ability to successfully enter graduate or professional schools. Because students from disadvantaged backgrounds often lack the support and resources to understand and navigate the world of higher education, the PSHP program provides a scaffold which allows these students to flourish and succeed.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Increase the number of underrepresented minority students pursuing undergraduate education related to maternal and child health. Obj. 1.1: Develop recruitment strategies among underrepresented minority undergraduates at UCLA.; Obj. 1.2: Matriculate 16 minority students in each of Years 1 through 5. Goal 2: Provide mentoring support and resources needed to ensure that a majority of PSHP students graduate into MCH professional or graduate programs or positions. Obj. 2.1: Provide a seminar series for PSHP students focused on career exploration. Obj. 2.2: Provide students with mentoring in public health professions. Obj. 2.3: Provide supportive services needed for PSHP students to successfully transition from undergraduate studies to public health graduate or professional schools. Goal 3: Enhance the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for public health practice and leadership for undergraduate minority students who are on a career track for entering MCH-related professions. Obj. 3.1: Ensure that 80 PSHP students and at least 80 non-PSHP students take the Foundations of Maternal and Child Health class by Year 5. Obj. 3.2: Provide internship experiences in community-oriented MCH programs. Obj. 3.3: Involve PSHP students in interdisciplinary training and practice opportunities, involving direct service and leadership roles. Obj. 3.4: Expose PSHP to research opportunities in community settings, particularly methodologies related to life course health development. Goal 4: Increase collaborations and outreach with other entities that can strengthen our ability to support and mentor our PSHP students. Obj. 4.1 Strengthen the alliance between the PSHP program and the Academic Advancement Program (AAP) on campus; Obj. 4.2: Strengthen presence in the K-12 Bruin Community School (BCS) ; Obj. 4.3: Develop relationships with other pipeline training programs in Los Angeles; Obj. 4.4: Participate in national conferences for other undergraduate pipeline programs, including the MCH Pipeline Grantee meeting.


The methodology responds to MCHB's priority training goals as identified in the National Plan for Maternal and Child Health Training. As service delivery paradigms change, program development requires the ability to develop a common vision among sectors for the way that services should be organized. MCH leaders in all health professions must design strategies that can succeed in culturally diverse, community-based, and politically charged settings. The PSHP program is primarily concerned with preparing MCHleaders with the necessary skills, centered on the life course model, to navigate this landscape. The PSHP program is designed to develop a diverse, family-centered MCH workforce that will be effective in reducing health disparities for MCH populations and able to be responsive to Healthy People 2010 and Healthy People 2020 goals.


We work closely with our local Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health office, both for summer internship placements as well as on community projects. One such example is the collaboration between the MCAH office and the Office of Minority Health for students in the PSHP program to become Peer Pre-Conception Counselors on campus.


The evaluation plan for the Pathways for Students into Health Professions (PSHP) Program will use multiple methods to measure process and outcome indicators. Key procedural elements to be assessed include curriculum development and development of an effective student support process. Other measures include number of trainees recruited, admitted and graduated; number of students participating in the community experiences; and the volume of trainees who apply to one or more health profession graduate programs.

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