The overall goal the Buffalo Translational Consortium (BTC) Translational Workforce Development component is training and development of an interprofessional, interdisciplinary, and ethnically/racially/culturally diverse clinical and translational workforce with skills to meet the health care needs of our community, the region and the nation. The KL2 Mentored Career Development Program (KL2 Program) will engage talented and motivated scholars in any health science discipline (including medicine, nursing, dental, pharmacy, public health) to join the clinical and translational science workforce to develop new diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic interventions for diseases with emphasis on addressing health disparities affecting our communities. We will train scholars to use an interdisciplinary approach to translate basic and clinical advances into improved healthcare. We will develop an ethnic/racial/culturally diverse workforce to overcome the growing divide between clinical and research careers, and to address health inequities in communities such as Buffalo. Buffalo is the 3rd poorest city in the country, where over 50% of its population belongs to traditional underrepresented [(AA (39%), HA (11%), NA/PI (0.8%)] (2010 Census) and/or underserved minorities. Refugees represent over 5% of the Buffalo population. The goal of this KL2 Program is to train at least four junior faculty/physician scientist scholars by supporting them for two years with the expectation that, with training and mentor assistance, they secure an additional three years of individual funding through K awards to complete the five-year training program. The program is complemented by and integrated with an institutionally funded Dean's Scholars program, which allows us to train 6 additional scholars under the same terms. There will be 5 scholars in the program in Years 1 and 2 and 10 thereafter. We will focus on recruiting individuals from underrepresented backgrounds in health science professions. The program has four specific aims: 1) Attract, engage, and train in state-of-the-art clinical and translational science and a broad range of health science disciplines talented and motivated early career investigators who come from underrepresented groups or disadvantaged backgrounds and/or bring new perspectives to health disparities challenges; 2) Develop comprehensive mentoring programs for mentors and trainees tailored to individual needs; 3) Promote pathways to independence by fostering inter-professional and inter-disciplinary training for scholars to master team science concepts; and 4) Empower our Community of Scholars to collaborate and identify new areas of engagement with other CTSA hubs. The program will train and develop KL2 Scholars' professional skills and facilitate a seamless transition to their next career level within the clinical and translational workforce pipeline. KL2 Scholars, as leaders of the CTSA Community of Scholars, will have the opportunity to give back by providing mentoring and guidance in the discipline to students and peers from our community, the region, and nationwide through the CTSA consortium.
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