“Because of HPPI, I saw a real cadaver at the Yale medical school!”
—Eleventh grade student at the New Haven, Connecticut Health Careers Magnet High School
“Our lives are painful, but because of HPPI our daughter studies all day and night. Some day she will be a doctor. We thank you for this.”
—Migrant worker parents in Fresno, California
We are pleased to bring you this supplement of Academic Medicine. Our hope is that it will add to the literature on medical education pipeline initiatives and highlight the legacy of the Health Professions Partnership Initiative (HPPI), which was funded by The Robert Wood Johnson and W. K. Kellogg Foundations and conducted from 1996 to 2005.
The issue opens with a foreword by Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) vice president for the Division of Diversity Policy and Programs, Charles Terrell, demonstrating the need and context for these partnerships. The next two articles (by Davis Patterson and Jan Carline of the University of Washington and by James Hamos of the National Science Foundation, respectively) present the current scholarship on pipeline partnerships and review the literature.
At the heart of this supplement are eight case studies that are representative of the 26 HPPI projects. Projects were funded in places all around the country, in urban, suburban, and rural areas, serving black, Hispanic, American Indian, Southeast Asian, and other students underrepresented in medicine, starting as early as elementary school and going on to college and medical school. The case studies in this supplement were selected in order to capture the variety of HPPI projects in terms of geographical diversity and population density, breadth of curricula, and health professions focus. These select case studies are informative as well as painfully honest about the challenges and barriers of these projects.
Following these case studies are pieces by school administrators, telling of their involvement in HPPI. As principal of Sunnyside High School in Fresno, California, Sheryl Weaver gave the support and resources necessary to the Doctors Academy at her school. David Zuhlke was Superintendent of the Ypsilanti Public Schools when he was approached by the University of Michigan to join their HPPI—Project HOPE. Roy Wilson formed a dynamic partnership at Creighton University, serving the children of Omaha, Nebraska, when he was vice president of the Health Sciences Center and dean of the School of Medicine.
Finally, two of the nation’s leading medical educators, former U.S. Department of Education Secretary Lauro F. Cavazos and AAMC President Jordan J. Cohen, examine what the future holds for HPPI projects and what is required of us in order to secure their promise.
Many, many people contributed their time and energy to ensure the quality and timeliness of this supplement. We would like to thank Kevin Grumbach and Lauro Cavazos for their careful reviews and substantive comments. The staff of Academic Medicine, in particular Jennifer Smith and Lisa Dittrich, guided the supplement through the production process with care and a concern for quality that the journal is known for around the world. Our greatest thanks go to the supplement’s authors. They engaged in the project with enthusiasm, met deadlines, and revised in response to review comments, all in addition to their busy professional lives. They are committed to the principles of HPPI, and we honor their contributions. Our final thanks are reserved for the AAMC’s outgoing president, Jordan Cohen. We are grateful for his leadership and support of HPPI and for future pipeline partnerships.