Alliance Piera BarbagliaShaheen Health Services Academy

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Health Service Academy (HSA) High School is developing a dynamic Work-Based Learning (WBL) Program to provide students with academic and experiential education opportunities focused on moving them from secondary education into college and careers in health care. The program is being funded in part by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF). Created in 1992 as an independent, private foundation, TCWF’s mission is to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention.

“Through this investment, The California Wellness Foundation is enabling us to help address the critical need for diversity in health professions, especially in communities like those surrounding HSAHS,” says the school’s Principal, Erik Elward. HSAHS is located in one of the most disadvantaged and under-resourced communities in the nation, particularly in medical services.

Ultimately, the WBL Program also aims to contribute to the reduction of health disparities among ethnic populations. Research has shown health care workers from underrepresented minority groups are more likely to care for minority patients and serve in high-poverty, underserved communities. “Our hope is that, after receiving their degree, our students will bring their health care experience and passion back into their communities,” says Elward.