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Am J Public Health. 2011 Dec;101 Suppl 1:S188-95. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300122. Epub 2011 May 6.

Lessons learned from a decade of focused recruitment and training to develop minority public health professionals.

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Health Communication Research Laboratory, Washington University, St Louis, MO63112, USA.


From 1999 to 2009, the Eliminating Health Disparities Pre-doctoral Fellowship Program provided specialized education and mentoring to African American graduate students in public health. Fellows received a public health degree, coursework in understanding and eliminating health disparities, experiential learning, mentored research, and professional network building with African American role models. We describe successful strategies for recruiting and training fellows and make 5 recommendations for those seeking to increase workforce diversity in public health: (1) build a community of minority students, not a string of individual recruits; (2) reward mentoring; (3) provide a diverse set of role models and mentors; (4) dedicate staffing to assure a student-centered approach; and, (5) commit to training students with varying levels of academic refinement.

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