Our first Community of Practice convened key stakeholders working to advance educational opportunity and access to health careers to the University of California, Davis. Members of the CoP crossed disciplines and the causeway to engage staff and faculty from medicine, nursing, undergraduate pre-health and K-12 outreach to align and strengthen UC Davis-wide efforts to promote a diverse healthcare workforce to advance health equity.

Our first cohort culminated in our event Collaborating to Strengthen Health Careers Pipelines at UC Davis which brought each team together to showcase their work. These five teams shared the following presentations.

For a summary of our event and a brief description of each team's projects, read our one-pager!

Building Linkages Between MESA, Community College and Medical School

Members: Thomas Ahn & Juanita Muñiz-Torres (MESA UC Office of the President); Dr. Tonya Fancher, Dr. Jorge Garcia, Dr. Mark Henderson, Dr. Efrain Talamantes & Aileen Arevalo (UC Davis School of Medicine)


As defined by its full name, Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) is changing the face of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by creating and developing a new generation of STEM leaders by propelling historically underrepresented groups. By establishing a new partnership, MESA, UC Davis School of Medicine and Los Rios Community College District are seeking to inform current MESA students that careers in medicine are also a viable option. Team A members are working to build a system of engagement and supports to assist healthcare interested community college students in shifting their trajectory, completing a BA in pre-med and successfully entering medical school.

Restructuring the UC Davis Saturday Academy

Members: Rosalyn Clark (MESA UC Davis); AJ Ellis & LaToya Hervey (Educational Talent Search); Ana Garcia & Harold Stewart-Carballo (Early Academic Outreach Program); Erin Griffin, Charisse Torres, & Teryn Heckers (UC Davis School of Medicine)


Three first-year medical students founded the Saturday Academy in 2001. They realized they could serve as mentors for local high schools with populations not well represented in the medical professions. Since then, over a period of four Saturdays each year, UC Davis medical students spend time introducing groups of teens to what amounts to a condensed version of medical school. After close to 20 years of operation, Team B members recognized that the program is due for an upgrade. They conducted far reaching surveys with past Saturday Academy students and staff to identify the strengths and gaps in the program. Based on the results of these surveys, additional interviews will take place and the program will be restructured to maximize its impact in 2018.

Charting a Course for Diversity & Inclusion at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing

Members: Kupiri Ackerman-Barger, Ana Marin Cachu, Karla Hodges, Mallory Johnson, Maricel Lumaquin & Jenna Shaw Battista (UC Davis School of Nursing)



In 2017, the leadership within the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing convened a Diversity and Inclusion Implementation Committee to build upon initial work by a prior task force to explore related issues. The mission of the committee was to make recommendations for prioritizing diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts within the school as well as identifying “logical homes” (e.g. committees and offices) to oversee D&I work. The committee reviewed available data to develop short and long-term goals based on identified needs and best practices.

Re-Shaping the Approach to Health Careers Advising at UC Davis

Members: Ed Dagang (UC Davis Student-Run Clinics); Elio Gutierrez & Dr. Jose Morfin (UC Davis Postbacc Program); Mary Rose Saint-Cyr (University of California Postbacc Consortium); Joanne Snapp (UC Davis Health Professions Advising)



In meeting with undergraduate students at UC Davis who are from communities not well represented in the medical professions, Team D members began to learn that many students were being discouraged to pursue their desired career track. It turned out that many well-meaning advisors were quick to declare that some low grades or low test scores would be insurmountable obstacles in students' attempts to enter medical school, nursing school or graduate training for other health professions. Team D recognized that these advisors are unaware of numerous supports and alternative pathways that could make health professions graduate programs an accessible reality for many students. In response, Team D created a series of training workshops for pre-health advisors to ensure that they provide information and encouragement about the full range of options available to students.

Mapping the Linkages among Health Career Pathway Programs

Members: Dr. Suzanne Eidson-Ton (Depts. of Family and Community Medicine & OB/GYN, UC Davis School of Medicine); Teryn Heckers & Maura Reilly (Communities and Health Professionals Together); Laura Niznik Williams (Government and Community Relations, UC Davis Health); Charrise Torres (Office of Student & Resident Diversity, UC Davis School of Medicine); Mikael Villalobos (Office of Campus Community Relations)



When the Health Careers Pathway Community of Practice was launched, our team was pleasantly surprised to find out how many healthcare career pipeline programs UC Davis offers to K-16 students. The challenge is that many of these programs do not know about one other. This has created a great number of inefficiencies, including missed opportunities to help students navigate from one pipeline program to the next as they progress on in age and knowledge. To start addressing this issue, our team created a directory of healthcare career pipeline programs available through UC Davis and UC Davis Health. In addition, our team reviewed several of the programs and looked at best practices in the field to better link high school and college level pipeline programs.