LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

Entergy Foundation Supports Health Professions Pipeline Program

Entergy supports LSUHealthNO pipeline program

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Leslie Capo

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Entergy Charitable Foundation recently presented an $80,000 grant to support an LSU Health New Orleans program that is improving science education and attracting more young people to careers in the health professions. LSU Health New Orleans’ Science Youth Initiative Summer Internship Program provides high school and undergraduate students with real-world, hands-on experience as well as resources and connections important to their future careers.

The funding will support the training of 15 local high school and undergraduate students from diverse social and educational backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences. During the summer, students will learn how to conduct research and many will present the results of their work at scientific conferences. Training will include one-on-one mentoring by faculty members from the LSU Health New Orleans basic sciences departments and centers on hypothesis development, experimental design, research methods, and scientific presentation skills. Interactive workshops will include topics such as resume writing for graduate school applications and science career opportunities. The Entergy-funded summer interns who attend Louisiana schools during the academic year are working in LSU Health New Orleans schools of Medicine, Public Health, Graduate Studies and Allied Health Professions for training in future careers in genetics, women's health, clinical medicine, epidemiology, scientific research, cancer health disparities, environmental health, computer science/bioinformatics and health systems management.

LSU Health New Orleans’ Science Youth Initiative, co-directed by Fern Tsien, PhD, Associate Professor of Genetics in the School of Medicine, and Martha Cuccia, MPH, MCHES, Instructor of Health Policy & Systems Management in the School of Public Health, began in 2003 to improve low science grades and test scores by making science more interesting and approachable for students. LSU Health New Orleans created this pipeline program to engage students in the sciences and STEM fields throughout their academic careers.

“Entergy’s relationship with LSU Health Foundation New Orleans extends as far back as a quarter of a century,” says Denise Flock-Williams, Executive Director of Development at LSU Health Foundation New Orleans. “Entergy donations have supported such projects as rebuilding the Isidore Cohn, MD Student Learning Center after Katrina, providing mammograms to low-income women, and LSU Health New Orleans’ Camp Tiger, a free summer day camp for children with special needs.”

Charles Rice, President and CEO of Entergy New Orleans, says, “We are seeking to close the gap in the number of trained, qualified and available workers in communities served by Entergy.”

“With Entergy's investment, the Science Youth Initiative is creating a more competitive and educated body, particularly among groups historically underrepresented in the sciences – minority ethnic groups, first-generation college students, and women,” notes Dr. Tsien.

The program is eligible to re-apply for grants two more years.