The National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) just wrapped up their National Meeting in Washington DC this year over the weekend. This 5 day conference was a fantastic learning opportunity for UP’s pre-health advisors who got to hear from institutions across the US about national and local trends, admissions, and programming.
Among the distinguished speakers, Becca & Kyle had a special opportunity to hear from Former US Surgeon General, and current Dean of the School of Public Health (Univ. of Maryland), Boris D. Lushniak MD, MPH about his experiences in health care and how to help support students along their unique paths to a career in the health professions.
As US Surgeon General, Dr. Lushniak was instrumental in the placing of warning labels on tobacco, was on the ground following 9/11, as well as assisting with the ebola outbreak in Africa. He gave personal accounts of his journey and what it was like for him, the son of Ukrainian immigrants a first generation college student. A fascinating person and engaging speaker!
While there were many sessions and presentations that were interesting and informative, a few that that stood out the most were the presentation on implicit bias in healthcare, presented by Eloiza T.B. Domingo-Snyder, MS, from Johns Hopkins; a presentation by Todd Lang, of the Univ. of North Texas, about advising and educating students struggling or questioning their health profession goals; and “The Health Wagon” presentation by Dr. Teresa Tyson and Dr. Paula Hill as the conference’s keynote address.
“The Health Wagon” was particularly appealing due to the University’s mission. The program is operated by Dr. Tyson and Dr. Hill which cares for the uninsured in rural Appalachia Mountains area of western Virginia. Their mission to care for the poor and marginalized in the Appalachian region speaks directly to our mission at the University of Portland, and resonated harmoniously with our values in the College of Arts & Sciences.
It was 5 days of meeting sessions and activities, in a hot and humid climate much different than the moderate climate we enjoy in the Pacific NW. Our team returned home with a lot to reflect on and some new ideas to help make pre-health pathways here at UP even better for our current and future students!