By: Kayti Baur, MSc Candidate in Community Health and Epidemiology
The Global Health Office (GHO) in happy to introduce Sarah Upshaw as the new Program Manager for the Promoting Leadership in health for African Nova Scotians (PLANS) Program! Sarah brings a robust skill set to the position, having worked as a mental health nurse for many before moving on to Recreation Therapy here at Dalhousie, and finally her Master of Counseling at Acadia University. At Acadia, Sarah was part of an Africentric cohort aimed at increasing the number of African Nova Scotians in the counseling field. She went on to work in public health as a Youth Health Centre Coordinator before coming to join us here at the GHO. Having such a diverse background of both study and work, Sarah became keenly aware of the lack of representation of diversity within health professions, and could clearly see the impact on the populations that were being under served.
Sarah is passionate about the PLANS goals of helping create interest and guide youth through the process of making the transition to post-secondary education and eventually attending school in any medical field. The most common ways this is done is through youth summer camps, mentorship and support opportunities, and financial help through bursaries for entrance exams and conference attendance. Sarah has a personal interest in finding ways to better reach youth living outside HRM, especially in rural areas, to better introduce them to what the PLANS program can offer.
Sarah currently works out of the Global Health Office all week, as well as providing drop-in based mentorship out of the Black Student Advisory Center on Thursdays from 9am-noon. One of Sarah’s goals for the upcoming year is to expand this drop-in time in a virtual way, hoping to make it easier for youth and young adults to contact her from across the province.
PLANS seeks to increase representation of African Nova Scotians in the health professions through recruitment and retention, community collaborations and partnerships to improve health outcomes within the African Nova Scotian community. PLANS offers programming, resources, and attends community and school events to provide health career support and preparation. Learn more here!