Previous Page  15 / 22 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 15 / 22 Next Page
Page Background

15

Through a combination of speakers, field trips, and mentoring, the medical school brings the possibility of a medical

career to young people in these rural communities. Several years ago, the medical school began a partnership with

Boone Career and Technical Center and the HOSA program there, and have provided many additional resources for

the students. “We are hopeful that by engaging students early, we can provide them with information about applying to

college, completing their FAFSA for financial aid, in addition to eliminating or reducing any preconceived barriers they may

have about going to college or entering the healthcare field,” said Jennifer Plymale. Debbie Curry indicated that examples

of enrichment activities have included arranging for field trips to the medical school and hospitals, suturing workshops,

live video conference of real-time surgeries through the COSI program in Ohio, the Three Rivers Avian environmental and

biology program featuring live raptors, among other things.

A relatively new player in this partnership is Coalfield Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center allied with the

medical school in neighboring Logan County with a dual mission of providing primary care and serving as an educational

hub for the region. Most recently, Coalfield, along with its Executive Director, Kristin Dial, RN, and its Medical Director, Dr.

Jon Bowen, have teamed up with Boone Career and Technical Center, HOSA, and the medical school to visit the Career

Center and provide suturing workshops and advice about pursuing medical and health care careers. Since both Ms. Dial

and Dr. Bowen were born and raised in the southern coalfields of West Virginia, their message uniquely resonates with

the students as they intimately understand the challenges and advantages of the area. Kristin states “as a healthcare

leader in our community, I believe this partnership allows our organization to provide unique experiences to the youth and

expand their educational experiences as they are exploring health care careers.”

The partnership has been a success for the students in the Career Center. Pre and post testing by the medical school

each year shows a marked increase in knowledge about health care careers. Anecdotal evidence from conversations with

the students suggests that the partnership

adds a new dimension to their education

and encourages a further interest in health

careers and in exploring new options within

those careers. Recent graduates of the

program have entered nursing school,

medical school, and other healthcare

programs, and many of these students

plan to return to the area to serve their

communities.

The partnership between HOSA, a high

school career center, a medical school and a

community health center illustrates the power

of maximizing resources in an economically

challenged area. Together they harness the

strengths and resources of each partner and

unite to provide the best and most timely

educational opportunities for the young

people in this area. With a passion on all

sides for empowering students and ultimately

improving health care access for these

communities, the partners are committed to

this joint endeavor for the long term.

The partnership between

HOSA, a high school career

center, a medical school and

a community health center

illustrates the power of

maximizing resources in an

economically challenged area.