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Cultural diversity in health care is crucial if our nation’s health care system is to ensure patient-centered, culturally competent, quality health care outcomes.  

Join this four-week summer program designed to expose and prepare underrepresented students for a future career in health care. The program is open to underrepresented minority high school students with a 3.0 cumulative grade point average attending a St. Louis or East St. Louis city or county public school. 

Grow. Lead. Succeed.


College acceptance rate


Past participants pursuing health care degree


Past participants pursuring pharmacy degree


Former BESt participants currently attending UHSP

About the Program 

BESt summer programs are four weeks in duration and focused on a STEM-based curriculum. The goal is to spark students’ interests in STEM-based professions and to create a pipeline of diverse health care providers to the St. Louis Region. 

Spend four weeks experiencing life on a premier college campus, connecting with like-minded peers through collaborative projects, team building and case competitions 

Explore health care through customized hands-on learning with leading health care providers 

Experience personal growth through a focus on professional development and college readiness training 

Connect with employers across diverse health care settings 

Earn a stipend upon successful program completion 

BESt students at Black Health Matters podcast


View application instructions, eligibility requirements, and submit your application at

Program Eligibility

The program is open to underrepresented minority high school students with a 3.0 cumulative grade point average attending a St. Louis region high school, including St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Madison County and St. Clair County.    

Develop Skills for College and the Real World 

Conducted primarily on the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy campus, the BESt program focuses on developing academic and professional development skills, while exposing students to diverse career paths in health care. 

Teachers and Student Mentors 

The BESt curriculum is developed and taught by local high school teachers and college professors. UHSP student pharmacists serve as mentors and tutors to facilitate participant transition and success in the program. 

Immersive Experiences and Field Trips 

In addition to classroom learning, students visit health care practice settings providing unique experiences for them to explore career paths while interacting with professionals in their work environment. 

Creating a Diverse Health System

Research has shown that if diverse patients see themselves within the healthcare workforce, they are more likely to trust their healthcare provider. They are also better able to communicate their condition, more likely to understand and follow their prescribed treatment, and more satisfied with their healthcare, leading to more positive health outcomes. 

Despite major advances and technological improvements in public health and medicine, health disparities persist by race and ethnicity, income, and educational attainment, and in some cases are increasing. A new study from the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health has found a severe lack of diversity in the health care workforce, a problem that, according to researchers, could worsen health disparities for minorities.  

BESt is preparing a pool of providers that are equipped to serve diverse populations to combat this problem. 

Educational pipeline programs play a vital role in increasing the diversity of health professions, addressing educational opportunity gaps, and reducing health disparities. By building a more diverse health workforce, the United States would improve access and outcomes in underserved communities and for high-need populations.  

The goal of the BESt Healthcare Institute is to play a critical and meaningful role in this process. 

take the next step

For more information, visit the BESt Health Care Summer Institute website where you can direct questions, requests for information or comments to the BESt Program Directors. 

To support these students and make a difference in this important initiative, become a sponsor of the BESt program.