Health experts encouraging young people of color to choose a healthcare career with free expo
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Experts warn that the shortage of Black doctors in the U.S. harms public health. A study from the Association of American Medical Colleges reports about 5% of doctors are Black.
It’s why the Louisiana Department of Health and the Louisiana Leadership Institute is trying to engage with young people of color to discuss the possibilities of a healthcare career. They are hosting a free Youth Health Expo on Saturday, March 11.
It’s happening from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Louisiana Leadership Institute. The address is 5763 Hooper Road in Baton Rouge.
The event is for youth ages 6 through 18 and will have hands-on activities, healthy food boxes, information on summer programs, health screenings for the whole family, vaccinations, break-out sessions, food, music, door prizes, and more.
Organizers said physicians and other medical professionals of color will be there to meet and discuss their work and the importance of public health screenings and prevention. They’ll also show young people how exciting it can be to choose a career in the healthcare field.
A more diverse healthcare workforce can more effectively meet people where they are, identify and remove barriers, and lead to better health outcomes, officials said. Since Louisiana ranks 50th or lower out of 50 states for heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes they said instilling healthy habits at a young age is critical.
There will be over 67 vendors including the Baton Rouge Cardiology Center, Baton Rouge General, Cardiovascular Institute of the South, the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, Louisiana Department of Health, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, Metro Health, Ochsner Health, Our Lady of the Lake, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Woman’s Hospital and others.
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