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UC San Diego Health Receives $2.2 Million Grant to Encourage High Schoolers to Pursue Health Care Careers

UC San Diego Health has received $2.2 million to develop a program to encourage high school students in underrepresented communities to pursue health care careers.Uc San Diego Health

The grant โ€“ from the California Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) and to be distributed over five years โ€“ will help fund the โ€œUC San Diego Health Career Experience,โ€ an annual program meant to educate and train students interested in nursing and allied health professions.

โ€œWeโ€™re seeing data both regionally and statewide that there is a disparity between the diversity of nursing staff and patients served,โ€ said Cabiria โ€œBeaโ€ Lizarraga, nurse manager at UC San Diego Health. โ€œThis grant will provide us with the chance to address opportunity gaps among health care providers and increase diversity within our team, which we believe in turn will decrease health care disparities, and ultimately improve lives.โ€

Program participants will be guided on matters including their health care profession of interest, relationship-based care, personal branding, simulation skills lab, health literacy and health care disparities, health care and technology, cultural competence, research and evidence-based practice, and professional communication. They will also encounter topics such as behavioral health, geriatric health, primary care, and general adult medical-surgical care.

โ€œThis new program provides us with the opportunity to connect with high school students and provide comprehensive academic enrichment, career development and mentorship,โ€ said Dr. Gerard Phillips, senior director of nursing at UC San Diego Health. โ€œWeโ€™re thrilled to be using the funding received to help with efforts that will result in a more diverse and inclusive workforce.โ€

As part of the program, UC San Diego Health experts will also speak at local high schools.