Western University of Health Sciences recently received a Health Careers Training Program (HCTP) Mini-Grant award for $15,000 from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) to assist with the Pomona Health Career Ladder (PHCL) program.

WesternU’s PHCL program was one of 15 organizations awarded a portion of $200,325 made available from OSHPD.

PHCL was awarded the mini-grant under category A: Healthcare Career Conferences and/or Workshops.

The award category focuses on introducing participants to a wide variety of health career options by offering health “career fair” type experiences and/or workshops, according to the application.

“We are pleased to have secured the resources to guide middle and high school students along a health professions career,” said Elizabeth Rega, PhD, Assistant Vice Provost and founding Director of the WesternU Health Career Ladder. “WesternU students also benefit educationally from the PHCL program, through service learning opportunities, community engagement and recruitment of pediatric standardized patients, which ensures that our future doctors perfect their pediatric patient communication skills with real kids.”

This is the third time the program has received substantial support from the state of California, Rega said.

PHCL started in 2008 as a joint effort between the Pomona Unified School District, WesternU and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona to help identify PUSD students with an interest in science and in health careers, then help shepherd them toward graduation from high school to eventually become health care professionals.