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Health Care Pipeline Programs

Pipeline programs inform and educate youth of all age groups on careers in health science, focusing on building the pipeline for future health care careerists.



The ASPIRE Chicago Youth Program works to improve the ability of youth ages 15-24 to transition out of homelessness successfully and permanently. The program consists of a year-round curriculum focusing on career readiness, success coaching, sexual health, and mental health. Participants will engage each curriculum component for four months, attending 12 sessions per block every two weeks at the Salvation Army Evangeline Booth Lodge. According to the dates for which they sign up, volunteers will attend sessions every other Wednesday (~twice monthly) from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. and will assist with teaching and facilitating lessons, moderating breakout groups, tutoring and entertaining the children of young parents participating in ASPIRE programming.

The Building Blocks: Rush Scholars Program

The Building Blocks: Rush Scholars Program is a pipeline & mentorship program for underrepresented junior and senior high school students in the Chicago area who are interested in medicine. The mission is to provide an integrative curriculum of clinical immersion, personalized mentorship, and community service to prepare underrepresented students for matriculation into college, graduate education, and medicine. Students engage in monthly hands-on classroom activities taught by medical students and pediatric residents centered on professionalism, CV/resume building, interviewing skills, essay writing, life as a medical student, and immersive clinical experiences. Students partner with mentors to aid in the preparation of their college applications. Post-COVID, students will shadow their student mentor in the preclinical setting as well as their physician mentor in the clinic/hospital setting.

The Humanism Project

(in development) The Humanism Project is a new program with a mission to bring humanity to individuals who suffered a traumatic experience and are at their lowest point battling recovery, while also easing the burden on family caregivers. Various services may include providing company during meals, engaging in stimulatory activities, getting paired with a consistent buddy that visits regularly, helping with additional tasks, participating in religious study, prayer, and/or spiritual groups, dropping off groceries, errands, and home-cooked meals, accompanying any appointments in the hospital, and so much more. This program will serve patients in the Rush JRB inpatient rehabilitation and Neurocritical ICU.

Mini Medical School

The CPASS Foundation Mini Medical School at Rush University Medical Center introduces 4th- and 5th-grade students to the wonders of the health sciences and the healthcare professions through lectures, experiments, and other forms of exploration. Rush University is offering this Saturday enrichment program to students from the neighborhoods around Rush at no cost. Focused on hands-on learning experiences, the program helps students develop critical-thinking skills while making connections with mentors and role models. The program is a great way for students to learn what it means to be a nutritionist, respiratory therapist, phlebotomist, doctor, nurse, dentist, veterinarian, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Richard T. Crane Medical Preparatory High School

Rush University partners with Crane Medical Preparatory Academy to mentor and direct the youth to careers in health through service opportunities, lectures, internships, and interactive experiences. Student leaders and faculty work together in the following pipeline projects:

Step-Up to Medicine

Step-Up to Medicine is a pipeline program for high school students interested in a healthcare career. The goal of this program is to encourage professional development through mentorship, interactive activities, and building skills to prepare for a career in medicine.

  • What? The program curriculum involves monthly 40–50-minute sessions that include: interactive activities, guest speakers, group discussions, and exposure to healthcare careers.

  • Where? Richard T. Crane High School

  • Who? 9th and 10th graders

  • When? Lunch hours (*may be subject to change to after school)

    • 9th grade: 11:30 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

    • 10th grade: 12:25 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Perfect Pass

The Perfect Pass is a community service program that educates high school athletes/students on applicable sports medicine and health topics in order to overcome the current lack of athletic trainers. The goal of this program is to encourage students to be more aware of injury prevention, healthy lifestyle habits, and potential healthcare careers.

  • What? The program curriculum involves 7 one-hour education sessions that include: educational content, group discussions, interactive activities, and exposure to healthcare careers.

  • Where? Richard T. Crane High School

  • Who? Sports teams

  • When? After school during the sports’ preseason/conditioning

SNMA/LMSA Pipeline Program

Pipeline programming dedicated towards increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine has been a long-standing commitment of the national organization the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). High School students are selected from CPS surrounding Rush. They then attend monthly sessions with mentors from all disciplines to encourage their interests in pursuing a career in the health professions. In the sessions, students are exposed to a variety of activities, ranging from college prep and professional development to health lectures by Rush faculty to community service volunteering activities (including participating in the different Rush student-led health fairs) and to creating their own health presentations for the community. Student leaders plan the curriculum, recruit and engage diverse Rush volunteers for the activities.

West Side Health Advocacy Committee

In collaboration with the Garfield Park Rite to Wellness Collaborative, the West Side Health Advocacy Committee aims to develop a strong, long-lasting relationship with the Garfield Park community through student lead programming in addition to supporting events hosted by the collaborative. Specifically, we host community wellness and health education fairs to increase knowledge and self-advocacy as it pertains to prevalent chronic diseases and their prevention/ management in the Garfield Park community. Lastly, in collaboration with the Rush Education and Career Hub (REACH) we connect with schools and educational programs in the Garfield Park community to develop and enhance pipeline programs.