On December 19, Bridgett Willey, PhD, Director for Allied Health Education and Career Pathways (AHECP) at UW Health, provided an overview and updates about the Health Occupations and Professions Exploration (HOPE) Program to the UW Hospitals and Clinics Authority (UWHCA) Board.
Dr. Willey founded the HOPE Program in 2013. This program was started from a community philanthropic investment by the UWSMPH Department of Radiology. HOPE is designed to grant underrepresented high school and college mentors with the opportunity to explore a variety of health occupations and professions in a hands-on, immersive Saturday seminar.
HOPE provides youth with the opportunity to explore over 50 different careers in health care. The high school students that participate in HOPE get paired with a mentor who is either an undergraduate or a graduate student attending a nearby university or college. Together, they go through a variety of activities during the courses. This includes listening to speakers who are health professionals, participating in simulated health care situations, and learning about the different health careers based on their specific roles.
Since it was founded in 2013, over 2500 high school and college students have participated in the program, and over 350 middle through college students have completed a summer internship. In 2016, Dr. Willey made a proposal to UWH senior leadership to found a functional area within the organization that would allow an expansion of the program and internships to provide more experiences to students and provide funding to found programs for adults. The department is proud of the program’s growth and positive impact it has made on our community! Click here to learn more about the HOPE Program.