One of the challenges in the effort to combat health disparities in the United States is the growing shortage of qualified and diverse health professionals in all aspects of public health. To replenish the nearly one in four public health professionals entering retirement, schools of public health will have to triple the current number of graduates over the next several years. The Pew Research Center reports that Americans are more racially and ethnically diverse than in the past, and that the U.S. is projected to be even more diverse in the coming decades 1. As the cultural landscape of this country evolves, it is critical that the emerging faces of the public health workforce reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity in communities across the U.S.
In the face of these challenges, the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) understands the tremendous contribution that young adults can make in reducing health disparities and is dedicated to advancing and disseminating knowledge in the field of health equity. To this end, OMH has launched the Youth Heath Equity Model of Practice (YHEMOP).
YHEMOP provides Health Equity Fellowships to undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students interested in a career in health. These fellowships provide hands on, “in the field” learning opportunities through short-term, project-based placements in diverse organizations or institutions that promote health equity and/or addresses health disparities.