Welcome to the Summer Undergraduates Minority Research Program (SUMR) – a pipeline program aimed at preparing undergraduates students from underrepresented minority groups in exploring the field of health services research.

Today, one in every four Americans belongs to a racial or ethnic minority group. Yet despite tremendous advances in health science in recent decades, minorities still have much higher rates of heart disease, many cancers, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS than whites.

It's going to take more than medicine alone to change this fact. It will take health services researchers who can understand the political, social, economic and environmental realities that have created such deep disparities in health and health care - researchers whose minority perspectives can shape a wider discussion. According to AcademyHealth — the professional organization that supports health services and policy research — “diversity of opinion and perspective produces better evidence” because “individuals who grew up exclusively in majority culture and its privileges are making discriminatory decisions about people who are not like them.”

To prepare top candidates to pursue careers in health services research, the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) and the Health Care Management Department of the Wharton School created the SUMR program in 2000. In the last 20 years, more than 255 undergraduates students have gone through the program, 95% of whom remain in health care.

Joanne Levy, MBA, MCP
Director of Student Initiatives, LDI
Associate Director, Health Care Management and Economics PhD Program
Founding Director, SUMR

Mark Pauly, PhD
Bendheim Professor
Professor, Health Care Management
Professor, Business Economics and Public Policy
Founding Principal Investigator, SUMR