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June 19, 2014
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Try on a White Coat program wins funding

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— Upstate Medical University will receive $10,000 from the State University of New York (SUNY) for its new “Try on a White Coat” program that gives students from backgrounds under-represented in medicine a chance to learn more about health care professions. The program is one of eight to win funding from SUNY’s Explorations in Diversity and Academic Excellence initiative this year. The $10,000 awarded to Upstate is the maximum allowed by the program.

“Try on a White Coat is a one-week program for SUNY students enrolled in pre-health curricula that come from diverse backgrounds,” said Sharon Huard, associate dean of Student and Multicultural Affairs at Upstate. “We will give them the chance to learn about health care careers in a hands-on, up-close and personal way.”

The program will incorporate a combination of lectures, demonstrations and simulations to offer students a realistic look at what different careers are actually like. It will include careers in nursing, research, medicine, allied and public health professions.

“Attracting a diverse group of students enriches the educational environment at Upstate,” said Julie R. White, PhD, dean of student affairs at Upstate. “All students benefit from a diverse student body and this program will allow us to enhance our recruitment efforts and help to ensure that our future providers reflect the patients we serve.”

In addition to Upstate, the Explorations in Diversity and Academic Excellence program awarded funding at various levels to projects at Binghamton University, the College at Brockport, Buffalo State College, Farmingdale State College, the University at Albany, SUNY Old Westbury and SUNY Oneonta.

The Try on a White Coat program will launch this fall with outreach to SUNY campuses with pre-health programs for the purpose of recruiting participants. The one-week experiential component is slated for summer 2015.

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