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Urban Health Initiative
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Health Science Academy

This program is a joint effort between UHI and Cooper Hospital Community Outreach. The Health Sciences Academy will offer an opportunity for several students from local Camden high schools to participate in a year-long educational program promoting careers in the health sciences. It will consist of basic science and clinical didactics focused on major health care issues and will attempt to build useful skills for future health care workers. Medical students act as teachers and mentors and will provide guidance for high school students in their pursuit of higher education.

Over the year long program, students will meet at the hospital twice a month. Half of these meetings will consist of education lessons on prevalent and preventable health problems. These lessons will involve both basic science and clinical components. The first half of most lessons will consist of a 45 minute interactive lecture on a specific medical topic taught by medical students. The lecture will be tailored for the education level of the students and will involve learning tools when appropriate. Afterwards, the students will be brought onto the floors of the hospital to see clinical examples of these medical topics. The students will gain interaction with patients and see the effect of disease on a more personal level. Attending physicians will be encouraged to provide basic clinical lessons in this setting.

In addition there will be workshops that cover topics like CPR training, Vital Signs, and Suturing, aimed at promoting interest in health care and teaching useful health care skills. These sessions will be run by the medical students and will aim to be interactive as well as hands on. The last three meetings will consist of time allotted to research and mentorship. The high school students will prepare a presentation on one of the topics covered in the earlier teaching sessions. The students will learn to use library resources to gather information on these topics and will ultimately present their findings to their classmates in an informal peer teaching session. Presentations will focus on defining a major modifiable health problem and identifying risk factors and potential areas for intervention. The students will also complete a 2-3 page paper delineating these same objectives.