SOPHE announces the launch of its Step-UP Pipelines Program

Increasing Hispanic and Latino representation is critical in addressing racial health inequities.

Washington, DC – November 7, 2022 – The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) proudly announces the launch of its Step-UP Pipelines Program. This program seeks to increase the representation of Hispanic and Latino professionals in the public health workforce.

Beginning in October 2022, a cohort of 19 Hispanic and Latino undergraduate students from six partner Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) will participate in the eight-month pilot program. Students are participating from these institutions:

Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, California
Doña Ana Community College, Las Cruces, New Mexico
Florida International University, Miami, Florida
Lehman College, The Bronx, New York
Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey
Northwest Vista College, San Antonio, Texas

Through monthly program sessions, students will delve into the field of public health and health education, explore various career options, build community, and develop personal and professional skills. SOPHE members will serve as mentors to help the students navigate the field.

“This is a new and exciting program for SOPHE,” says Tammy Dillard-Steels, MPH,® MBA, CAE, SOPHE’s CEO. “SOPHE is committed to diversity and equity at all levels, and this new program is an important step as we work towards the goal of increasing diversity in public health. We hope this program provides opportunities for Hispanic and Latino students to be leaders for their communities as we collectively build up the future of the public health workforce.”

Hispanic and Latino populations comprise the largest minority group in the United States — 18.5% of the overall population. However, in 2020 Hispanic and Latino professionals made up just 12.7% of the state and local public health workforce. Increasing Hispanic and Latino representation is critical in addressing racial health inequities. A more representative workforce is better equipped to meet the needs of our diverse communities.

The Step-UP Pipelines Program kicked off with an official orientation on October 31. Next month, students will explore health equity and anti-racism issues with Dr. Jean Breny, past SOPHE President and professor at Southern Connecticut State University. Dr. Breny’s work focuses on social justice and anti-racism within the field of public health. 


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