Grant to fund intro to health education for high school students - The University of Tulsa
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Grant to fund intro to health education for high school students

Roger Kollock, associate professor of athletic training and director of TU’s Exercise & Sports Science Program, has received a $73,019 grant from Telligen Community Initiative, a private, Iowa-based charitable foundation. These funds will support the Students Reaching Excellence Through Collaboration with Higher ED (STRETCHED) Program, an educational outreach program for high school students designed to spark interest in health care careers and help increase the number of practitioners from underrepresented groups.


STRETCHED exposes high school students to careers in medicine through a variety of grade-specific events that allow them to explore health care-related programs. The program is guided by TU’s commitment to diversity, equity, service, and the preparation of individuals to make meaningful contributions to our campus, our community, and our world.

Kollock explained that he created STRETCHED to not only inspire young people but to better serve the community as a whole.

“According to the data, 22% of North Tulsans and 19.9% of East Tulsans reported difficulty in seeking a health care provider,” he explained. “This is in part due to the lack of medical professionals practicing in these communities. Due to this problem, residents in North and East Tulsa are forced to receive care outside of their communities. This increases the likelihood of treatment by a practitioner unfamiliar with their culture, language, or religion. Evidence suggests that if a physician and patient are of the same race or ethnicity, patient outcomes are improved.”

STRETCHED addresses this problem through events designed to motivate and encourage high school students from underrepresented groups to pursue careers in health care. Students participate in summer camps, symposiums, and day trips to universities.

“The expectation is that these students, after graduating from a professional health care program, will seek to practice here in Tulsa and help address inequities in health care across the metro,” Kollock added. “I am excited to have received funding from Telligen Community Initiatives and to be able to help play a role in the academic and future success of the youth in the metro.” 

STRETCHED was one of only 13 grants selected for TCI’s 2023 Healthcare Workforce Development funding cycle, which awarded a total of $894,639 in grants to nonprofit organizations. TCI works to support projects in the priority funding areas of healthcare workforce development and strengthening families and communities (social determinants of health). Since 2014, TCI has awarded more than $15.9 million to more than 370 organizations and projects in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, and Oklahoma.

Learn about the STRETCHED program for high schoolers.