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Students from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and School of Medicine visited Washington, DC, July 7-12, to learn about communicating with law makers in Congress, creating policy and strengthening leadership askills in an effort to eliminate health disparities while increasing the number of racially and ethnically diverse health-care policy leaders. It is part of Penn's Leadership, Education and Policy program, or LEAP, which encourages nursing and medical students to use their research and clinical skills to lead and shape health policy and make a difference in the U.S. health-care system.


"A need exists to prepare the next generation of nurse and physician leaders to transform what is already known about health disparities research and practice on high-risk populations into health-policy recommendations for federal, state and local government officials," said Mary Lou Siantz, an assistant dean in the Penn School of Nursing.


The LEAP program is co-sponsored by the Penn School of Nursing's Office of Minority and Cultural Affairs and the Penn School of Medicine's Office for Diversity and Community Outreach. For more information go to


Source: Press Release University of Pennsylvania, July 3, 2008.