Federal grant, KU Medical Center to help create new health science classes for Lawrence public schools

Students in Lawrence public schools may get an extra nudge toward considering a career in the health care industry, thanks to a new partnership with the University of Kansas Medical Center.

The medical center recently was awarded a nearly $1.3 million, five-year federal grant to help underserved Kansas high school students pursue careers in health sciences. The grant from the National Institutes of Health will fund a partnership between KU, the University of Kansas Health System and the Lawrence school district to create a program that would help students be successful in a health care field.

The program will include the creation of a new “introduction to health careers” course, a new teaching method for a biology course geared towards students interested in health care, and a “capstone” course that pairs students with health care industry professionals to provide insight into a variety of careers.

The program is a follow-up to a 2015 grant-funded program that focused on providing health science classes to about 600 students in Kansas City, Wichita and Topeka. The new program — dubbed TSCORE LIFT — is expected to reach about 1,400 students. In addition to Lawrence, the grant funds partnerships in Kansas City, Wichita, Topeka and Hays. It also includes participation from three other universities — Wichita State, Washburn and Fort Hays State — along with the St. Francis and Via Christi hospitals.

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