Emerging Health Scholars Program

April 6, 2021

Buffalo, NY – The Canisius University New Buffalo Institute and the Erie Niagara Area Health Education Center (AHEC) partnered with KeyBank and the First Niagara Foundation to provide high school students in pre-health programs the opportunity to engage in learning about career pathways in healthcare. 

The Emerging Health Scholars Program provides a series of six sessions, which include mentoring, activities and laboratory experiments conducted with Canisius undergraduate students. High school students receive lab materials, and the sessions are held virtually. The second cohort of students began on April 1, 2021.

Allyson Backstrom, PhD, director of the Pre-Med Center at Canisius University and Brittany Mitchell, LMSW, program manager at Erie Niagara AHEC administer the program. The first cohort of 17 students from Math, Science, & Technology Prep School (MST) and Research Laboratory High School for Bioinformatics & Life Sciences completed their session in January.

The course modules include:

  1. Introduction to Health Professions
  2. Public Health – social determinants of health and disease detectives
  3. Pathways to Careers in Nursing and persistence in education
  4. Physician Assistant Profession and hands-on clinical wrapping of sprains
  5. Virtual lab - enzymes and lactose intolerance
  6. Virtual lab - kidney dialysis simulation

A second initiative creates a tutoring and mentoring program for MST students.  Students in MST’s Certified Nursing Assistant program complete four years of math, science and English in addition to their specialized courses.   This tutoring initiative will assist students with their coursework and help support their goals of entering the health profession and improve their readiness for attending college.

One of 27 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York.  Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals – able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to humanity.