Health Careers

A quality health workforce is diverse and serves those in underserved urban and rural areas. Our health careers programs improve public health by:

  • increasing access to care for underserved populations;
  • increasing opportunities for minority patients to see practitioners with whom they share a common race, ethnicity or language; and
  • improving patient-practitioner relationships and communication which may increase patients’ likelihood of receiving and accepting appropriate medical care.

Which Health Careers Programs Do We Fund?

Area Health Education Centers

We support enhanced access to high quality, culturally competent health care through academic-community partnerships. They improve the distribution, diversity, and supply of a primary care health workforce who serve in rural and underserved health care delivery sites.

Centers of Excellence Program

We fund health professions education for underrepresented minority individuals in designated health professions schools. The program serves as an innovative education center to recruit, train, and retain underrepresented minority students and faculty at health professions schools.

Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP)

Through HCOP, we:

  • promote recruitment of qualified individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds into health and allied health professions programs;
  • improve retention and admission rates by putting tailored enrichment programs into action that address the academic and social needs of disadvantaged trainees; and
  • provide opportunities for community-based health careers training, emphasizing experiences in underserved communities.

HCOP focuses on three key milestones of education:

  • graduation from high school;
  • retention and graduation from college; and
  • acceptance, retention, and completion of a health careers’ degree program.

HCOP – Skills Training and Health Workforce Development of Paraprofessionals’ Program

We assist individuals from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds in developing the skills needed to compete for, enter, and graduate from an existing health paraprofessional training program.

The program’s goals are to:

  • expand the health workforce;
  • meet the employment needs of communities;
  • provide a career ladder for disadvantaged individuals; and
  • promote entry-level job placement for graduates of health paraprofessional training programs, particularly in rural and underserved areas.
Date Last Reviewed:  October 2016


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