A“pipeline program” that brings underprivileged students to Einstein has received a new name and a major grant renewal. The Bronx Science and Health Opportunities Partnership (BxSHOP) has been renamed the Bronx Health Opportunities Partnership–Einstein (Bronx HOPE) in memory of Hope Spano, an administrator in the department of family and social medicine who was passionately committed to BxSHOP. She was also the administrator of Einstein’s Hispanic Center of Excellence and its Bronx Center to Reduce and Eliminate Ethnic and Racial Health Disparities. Ms. Spano died in September 2014 from colon cancer at age 52.
Bronx HOPE is directed by Alvin H. Strelnick, M.D., assistant dean for community engagement and the department’s division chief of community health. It serves students who are economically and educationally disadvantaged and come from groups underrepresented in medicine. The partnership—a broad network of Bronx-based educational institutions and community agencies—offers a pathway to training in science, medicine and healthcare for middle and high schoolers, undergraduates and postbaccalaureate students. Some 350 students participate in structured programs each year, and 1,000 to 2,000 students, parents, teachers and counselors attend events sponsored by the partnering institutions. The department also won a renewal grant from the federal Health Resources Services Administration through its Health Careers Opportunity Program. Over three years, nearly $2 million will be distributed to help continue and expand Bronx HOPE and other programs.
“Hope Spano was a devoted and inspiring mentor for students, and a staunch supporter of faculty and staff from Einstein, Montefiore and our collaborating institutions,” says Dr. Strelnick. “She set high standards and helped others live up to them. The new ‘Bronx HOPE’ name was chosen by a unanimous vote of our partners, all of whom knew and loved her. This renewed federal funding is a strong vote of confidence that will allow us to carry on Hope’s legacy.”