Communities to Careers students on UNM campus
By Amy Greene

UNM Grows Next Generation of Health Care Professionals

June marks the beginning of several health career pathway programs organized by the UNM Health Sciences Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion's Communities to Careers (C2C) initiative. Two hundred New Mexican students, ranging from elementary through post-baccalaureate, will immerse themselves in these different experiential learning opportunities, all of which aim to grow New Mexico's diverse health care workforce.

  • At UNM, the youngest learners will participate in the Summer of STEAM-H program, absorbing everything from engineering to 3D printing, with hands-on activities led by local educators and UNM departments.

  • High school student will learn about health equity and civic engagement in the PATH Emerging Leaders program and delve into health career exploration and college preparation in the Health Careers Academy (HCA).

  • Incoming college students will experience residential life while getting a jumpstart on their undergraduate health career journey in the Undergraduate Health Sciences Enrichment Program (UHSEP).

  • Students bound for health professions will study for the MCAT and GRE exams and prepare their health professions applications in our Test Prep+ Program in partnership with Kaplan.

  • Additionally, in the C2C regional hubs around New Mexico, high school students will participate in rigorous multi-week Health Careers Academy programs at five different community-based sites: UNM Health Sciences Rio Rancho, UNM Taos, Las Vegas, Farmington, and Santa Fe Indian School. Each site’s program coordinates with key regional educational and clinical partners, and features local health role models and presenters, reflection on culture and identity, community engaged learning sessions, and ACT test preparation.

  • In another exciting opportunity, ten undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students will take part in the Clinical Education (ClinEd) program, shadowing and learning about social determinants of health at rural and underserved community-based clinics for five weeks in Santa Fe, Española, Las Vegas, Shiprock, Clovis, and Portales. 

Since 2002, we have served more than 2,700 learners, many of whom have achieved full circle success and become the health care providers their hometowns need
Amy Greene, Director of Communities to Careeers

“Dr. Valerie Romero-Leggott, MD, Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, established Communities to Careers to deliver high quality education and enrichment with community partners in our rural and under-resourced communities around New Mexico so students can get the support and training they need to reach their education and career goals and in turn meet the health care needs of NM,” said Amy Greene, MPA, PMP, Director of Communities to Careers. “Since 2002, we have served more than 2,700 learners, many of whom have achieved full circle success and become the health care providers their hometowns need. This helps to address the health care shortages that 32 out of 33 counties in NM are facing.”

Upstream solutions, like the Communities to Careers programs, are one of UNM's critical efforts to improve the health and economy of our state and are offered at no cost to participants. Students receive a stipend for participation.

These programs are made possible through federal grants, legislative funding, and institutional support. Applications for the programs typically open in January, with academic year programs available as well. Learn more at:

Categories: College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, College of Population Health, Communities to Careers, Community Engagement, Diversity, Education, School of Medicine