DC HAPP is a pipeline program coordinated by the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences Office of Diversity and Inclusion to increase access to healthcare careers and foster diversity in the medical field. Sixteen rising 11th- and 12th-grade students attending Washington, D.C. area public schools are selected to participate in this program based on their passion and potential for medicine. Students participate in a four-week summer experience and clinical shadowing.
DC HAPP scholars gain exposure to healthcare professions, learn hands-on medical skills, develop public health projects, and prepare for college applications and college life. Medical and public health students, physicians, and other medical professionals serve as mentors, facilitators, and teachers.
Chidi Anita, Cindy Kabore, Ezinechineyere Njoku, and Sabrina Sanabria-Lawrence
DC high school students and adolescents from ages 12 to 17 suffer more from mental illnesses than adults and children ages 12 and under (Putzer, 2016). The prevalence of depression in high school adolescents in DC is above the (nationwide) baseline (Putzer, 2016). The rate of suicide attempts in teenagers in the DC Metropolitan area is 13.4%, which is a decrease from 2015, but still higher than the baseline by 3.0% (Putzer, 2016). Similarly, the rate of major depressive episodes (MDEs) in teens local to DC is 7.4%, which continues to be higher than the baseline by 0.9% (Putzer, 2016). The DC Healthy People target for adolescent suicide rates is 5.0%, and the target rate for MDE’s is 5.8% (Putzer, 2016).
Betelhem Assefa, Eliah Blakeney, Selam Bulti, and Mercedes Butler
The importance of positive role models cannot be emphasized enough. Seeing people from similar circumstances excel and help you make smart choices can be a powerful tool in improving your life. Mentorship, especially in marginalized communities, can help young people stay in school, avoid risky behavior and give them the tools to deal with the struggles they face.
Djibril Fall, Matthew Holt, Ryneisha McKenzie, and Zari Ventura
Target Population: African-American adolescents aged 13-20 residing in Wards 7 and 8 of Washington, DC. ● Health Issue: Lack of access to health care such as, health literacy, transportation, and available health resources. The health disparity/issue that we are targeting is the lack of access to health care within Wards 7 & 8 that is specifically aimed at African American adolescents between the ages of 13-20 years of age. The lack of access to health care in these wards is important because it increases the risk of youth having long term health issues such as asthma or obesity, which can lead to hypertension and diabetes. This is imperative because the future of our youth is determined by their ability to see a provider and obtain the necessary preventive care. This health disparity affects many in the community because the majority of them are impacted with higher rates of death and more emergency department visits that could have been prevented with more access to healthcare providers. In order to effectively increase access to health care in Wards 7 & 8, we have created an interactive program that targets areas with little transportation, fewer clinics and creates a very accessible service.
Elizabeth Lozano, Demia Clark, Emiyah Cofield, and Natal Jinfessa
Diabetes affects 9.3% (29 million) of the entire U.S. population and is the 6th leading cause of death (CDC, 2014, Marcus, 2016). Type two diabetes is a form of diabetes which occurs as a result of the body decreasing insulin production or the body’s resistance to insulin action. 95% of the individuals diagnosed with diabetes have type two diabetes (Santos, 2017). Obesity, the condition of carrying extra fat in the body, is linked to type two diabetes. Data shows that 9 in 10 Americans living with type 2 diabetes have obesity (ASMBS, 2013). Additionally, 27% of the adults (86 million) in the United States are affected by prediabetes (Healthy People, 2017).