Part I: SHPEP Kickoff Webinar- An Inside Look into the Summer Health Professions Education Program - December 6

Are you interested in applying for the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)?  Join the kick-off SHPEP webinar to hear about the free, educational opportunities and resources the program has to offer, directly from past scholars and alumni themselves.  You’ll also receive the best tips and tools for a successful 2019 SHPEP application.  

This webinar event is your first step towards jumpstarting your career in the health professions!  SHPEP is a summer career-enrichment opportunity that lasts a lifetime.

  • Lauren Jordan attended SHPEP in 2018 at the University of Louisville.

Ms. Jordan is currently a junior at St. John’s University in Queens, New York where she is expected to earn her bachelor’s in psychology in the Spring of 2020.

Ms. Jordan’s interest in preventative healthcare was ignited during a pre-med student internship in Ahmedabad, India. Disturbed by the alarming number of health challenges faced by individuals of underserved communities, she is committed to being the change agent that improves the inequitable deliverance of healthcare in today’s society.  It was not until Ms. Jordan’s completion of SHPEP, that it became quite clear how she planned to fulfill her intentions in healthcare.

Ms. Jordan transitioned her career plans from medicine to dentistry after her intense six-week experience in SHPEP. After leaving Louisville, she immediately solidified her decision by continuing to shadow in different dental specialties. She currently shadows and volunteers at a Dental office in New York. Upon graduation, Ms. Jordan plans to attend Dental school and provide dental care in underserved communities.

  • Shauntel Thomas attended SHPEP this past summer at the University of Washington- Seattle Campus. 

She is currently studying Public Health with an emphasis in pre-medicine. She plans to work towards a MD/MPH after completion of her undergraduate year.

SHPEP inspired her to pursue medicine to bridge the gap between Public Health and Medicine with an Indigenous perspective. She is passionate about both public health and medicine and with knowledge in both fields, she hopes to go back to her reservation and serve her Navajo people and their communities. 

  • Karen Morris-Priester, M.D. attended MMEP in 2001 at Yale University and later graduated from Yale University Medical School in 2007.

She is an anesthesiologist practicing in Allentown, Penn. Dr. Morris-Priester gained national attention in 2007 when she appeared as a guest on the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” where Ms. Winfrey recognized her for completing medical school as a single mother of five children and as the first grandmother to attend Yale School of Medicine.

Since then, Dr. Morris-Priester has traveled the country as a motivational speaker encouraging her audiences to follow their dreams. She also acts as a mentor to young people who aspire to become physicians. Serving as Chair of the alumni advisory board, Dr. Morris-Priester hopes to use her time to develop a process that will allow alumni to reach back to assist current participants in their journey to becoming aspiring physicians.

  • Andy Tang attended SMDEP in 2010 at the University of Washington.

Mr. Tang received a Bachelor of Science in biology and environmental health from the University of Washington in 2014. He is currently a research scientist in the Department of Radiology, Body Imaging Section at UW Medicine where he participates in ontological imaging research and provides tumor response assessments for patients enrolled in clinical trials.

“My personal commitment to serve on the SHPEP National Advisory Alumni Board is grounded in the belief of improving the health and well-being of medically underserved patients and communities. Our pursuit of this goal may be met by establishing a culture of health through the alignment of a diverse, inclusive, inter-professional team that informs and improves high quality patient, family, and community centered care. As such, I believe the educational pipeline through SHPEP and engagement of our alumni is critical to achieving this goal. Serving on the Alumni Board propagates my passion of reducing health and health care disparities, ensuring that the doors to medicine are wide open to those marginalized and those working towards reducing health and social inequities in health care delivery systems.”

  • Rosemary Vergara attended SMDEP in 2014 at the University of California Los Angeles.

Ms. Vergara describes her experience in the program as, “a life-changing experience that really motivated [her] to envision a career in medicine.”

Ms. Vergara grew up in the Bay Area in California. In 2016, she received her Bachelor of Science in biology with a double minor in biotechnology and public health science at Santa Clara University. After graduation, she had the amazing opportunity to join a lab at the Stanford University School of Medicine as a Life Science Research Professional.

Ms. Vergara currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer for MiMentor and has volunteered in K-12 Outreach with Latinas in STEM. She has also worked as an Emergency Department scribe and serves as a Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar. Her role models include her parents and her little sister. In the future, she plans to attend medical school and work in an underserved community.

  • Stephanie Vink has been working for SHPEP (formally known as SMDEP) since 2013. 

Ms. Vink recently transitioned and was promoted to the role of program specialist earlier this year. Ms. Vink has extensive knowledge of program operations, policies, and the overall application process.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiotherapy at the University of California, Long Beach in 2009. Ms. Vink is responsible for supporting the centralized application service from testing enhancements to SHPEP Web applications, troubleshooting, to the Web application system. She also maintains the SHPEP social media channels, assists with onboarding of new SHPEP Ambassadors and other outreach initiatives. Ms. Vink’s passion is focused upon helping others, whether it be through therapy, customer service, or supporting the career pathway of aspiring healthcare professionals. 

  • Chantez Bailey has served as the Senior Communications and Outreach Specialist for the SHPEP initiative since 2016. 

Ms. Bailey works to increase visibility and awareness of the initiative to potential applicants throughout the year.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Journalism at the University of Maryland in 2007.  Her passion has always been non-profit outreach and engagement, which is evident with the great amount of nonprofit outreach and work experience she has obtained since 2011.  She also currently works with the SHPEP alumni advisory board to create educational resources and opportunities for past alumni of the SHPEP, SMDEP, SMEP and MMEP iterations of the program.

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