HAP's Latest News

Workforce Solutions Spotlight: WellSpan Health

May 22, 2024

As Pennsylvania ages, many health care professionals are approaching retirement just as the need for health care is rapidly growing. Hospitals and health systems are leading the way in growing the next generation of health care professionals to care for Pennsylvanians and our communities.

Last weekend, WellSpan hosted a full day of hands-on career exploration and networking, partnering with York College for the second annual Black Men in White Coats Youth Summit. The event was part of an ongoing effort to improve the health of southcentral Pennsylvania communities.

“We need to look no further than our own communities for our future health care professionals and this youth summit ensures that anyone who has an interest in this career path has support in doing so,” said Kim Brister, vice president and chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer.  “At WellSpan, we believe in the power of diversity, and the importance of offering programs and an inclusive culture in which every person feels welcomed, respected, and valued.”

Here’s what you need to know:

  • About:  The interactive event offered students in grades 6–12 the opportunities to learn about the career possibilities within health care, introducing them to the practical aspects of health care professions and to mentors who look just like them.  
  • Keynote:  The fair included a keynote speech, from Damien Myers, MD, MPH, who left clinical medicine in 2010 to teach and cultivate the next generation of Black health professionals.
  • Partnership:  WellSpan’s Black Men In White Coats Youth Summit was sponsored by the WellSpan York Health Foundation Kids First Committee, Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, Pennsylvania Medical Society Health Diversity Task Force and York College of Pennsylvania.
  • Quotable:  “For more than a decade, I’ve taught hundreds of aspiring medical professionals and a half dozen MDs. But we need a better way. There are 55,000 missing Black doctors,” Myers said.

The event also featured information sessions for parents, caregivers, and adult attendees to support people on career pathways and offer expert financial advice in paying for college.

Additional information about the program is available online.