SHPEP UF: Broadening Health Education at the Gator Nation
The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) enabled 80 underrepresented and minority students to take part in a nationally-funded, six-week residential summer enrichment program at UF designed to facilitate interest in, successful application to, and matriculation into health professions education. Throughout the duration of the program, students bond and explore the multitude of pathways comprising the world of health with the guidance of UF Health Science Center faculty, staff, and students.
Each student has a unique background and story. “I was able to learn about the different careers in the medical field, and not only focus on being a physician,” says Belle Pierre. “It opened my eyes to different careers, and it also opened my eyes to the health disparities…it made me consider going to serve underserved populations after I’m done.” From learning how to react in a medical disaster and even how to cook, these students learn to work through real-world problems together and tackle relevant issues in the health professions.
The six health colleges associated with UF Health received a $415,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop a pilot project for the 2017 UF SHPEP. This program was sponsored by UF College of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, Veterinary Medicine, Public Health and Health Professions, with program and activity development aid from the UF Center for Precollegiate Education and Training.
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health. Since 1972, the foundation has supported research and programs targeting some of America’s most pressing health issues, from substance abuse to improving access to quality health care, with an overall mission of helping to build a national culture of health.