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 Tuesday, December 01, 2015

AHECSW's High School Health Internship Program (HSHIP) is heading into its fourth year. This program focuses on giving students that are invested in pursuing a healthcare career an immersive experience in the healthcare environment as well as an opportunity to form relationships with local healthcare professionals. Students in this program have the opportunity to spend between 35-70 hours participating in clinical observations to gain a more in depth understanding of the inner workings of these facilities, patient interaction, and why staff have chosen to dedicate themselves to this pathway.This Fall our students had the opportunity to discuss their unique experiences and they were given the option to provide a blog, video, or utilize other media formats to discuss the impact that their sites had on them. 

Emma Myers, a junior at Douglas High School who aspires to become a physician or plans to pursue a career in medical research, spent her fall term with Dr. Thomas Leech's office and the Weston Eye Center with Dr. Jon-Marc Weston and Dr. Greg Valle. Emma felt that something she gained from her first term with these offices was an increased understanding of patient interactions. Emma shared that before this experience she was a little uncomfortable with the idea of interacting with patients, but through this experience she had gained confidence in her abilities. Through this experience she not only had the opportunity to view eye exams, but she was also able to learn more about different procedures and eye health. Emma discusses her observations of patient appointments in Dr. Leech's office in the following video.   

Understanding what it takes to be a quality provider seemed to continue to be a theme throughout the term. Abby Lyons, a senior at Yoncalla High School interested in nursing and dental assisting, was impressed with dedication she observed at Dr. Randol's office. Abby learned that you really have to understand each individual patient to understand the kind of care that will work best for them. She shared this reflection on the patient care she observed: 

"Dr. Randol's office has shown amazing patient care. There was never just one moment where I was like, “Wow look at how well they treat the patients!” Instead, it was a constant thing that I saw. The assistants and hygienists were always kind and happy to see the patients. They would ask them how their day was going and they were genuine with their questions. The assistants and hygienists really did want to help the patients get better, they weren't at work just for a pay check. Dr. Randol did his best to make the patients time there as enjoyable as possible.He was always upbeat and happy. He would explain to the patients what he was doing and why.

I learned that patient care isn't just making sure that the patient has good care, but it is also about making the patient comfortable, gaining a relationship with them and helping them have an enjoyable time. The assistants and hygienists do their best to remember each patient and what they like. Some patients like to talk a lot, others like silence. The assistants and hygienists are responsible for feeling this out and finding what each patient likes so that the patient has a good time there. Everyone was so focused on making the patient happy and working with them to get the patients the care they needed."

Stella Moon, a senior at Roseburg High School interested in becoming a physician, spent some time observing physical and occupational therapists at Mercy Medical Center's AIM Therapies (formerly known as Mercy Institute of Rehabilitation). One thing Stella noted about being in this field was that you had a continued relationship with your patient because they usually had to come in for multiple session and that quality patient care is crucial when you are working with these types of therapies. Below are Stella's reflections on her term with her site: 

"Each week I observed different therapists work with their patients, and I learned about uses of various machines, forms of manual therapy, and other exercise methods that the therapists followed. I also shadowed the office secretaries and helped organize files and papers, and I learned what the physical therapy technicians' jobs entailed. It was very interesting to learn all of these things because I had not known much about therapy before. But one especially striking part about my internship was the immense patient care that the healthcare professionals at my site provided.

Every therapist, office staff member, and technician greeted their patients with sincere warmth and care. During therapy sessions, the therapists visited with the patients, told and listened to stories, and laughed with patients. Although none of these things are required as a part of therapy, the therapists did them because they genuinely cared about their patients. They would see their patients a week later and remember their stories and ask about them. If a patient had mentioned seeing her son that weekend, the therapists would ask about it a week later. This was amazing to me because the therapists have so many different patients come in throughout the day and to give each patient individual care takes a lot of commitment. The office staff and technicians showed the same commitment and authentic care to patients. They visited with every patient who came through and accommodated each of them for their separate needs.

My experience seeing the excellent patient care at the Mercy Institute of Rehabilitation was such an inspiration for my future career. No matter what I decide to do, I hope to be able to show just as much compassion and care as the staff I observed did."

Dylan Smith, a senior at Roseburg High School who hopes to become a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant one day, had the unique opportunity to form meaningful relationships with staff at the Shaw Heart Center at Mercy Medical Center. He discussed the impact that the staff had on his understanding of cardiology as well as technical terms and procedures. Dylan will never forget the mentors that inspired him.  

"Four specific hospital employees made the biggest impact in my internship; Sigourney Zallen, Crystal Clark, and Lindsay Wallenburn, who are all Radiology Technicians that work in cardiology, and Sarah Walton-Mahlberg, a Registered Nurse. Each of these professionals took the time to give me some hands-on learning experiences and made me feel valued because of the extra time they put aside to educate me. 

Sigourney taught me how the procedure tables get set up and even taught me how to open packages in a way to keep the object inside sterile and how to drop it onto the procedure table. Within a few weeks I had already learned how most procedure tables get set up and I even got to assist in setting up the procedure table a couple times and also getting various supplies needed for the procedure. This was an amazing experience. Crystal Clark had saved an extra balloon catheter from a procedure for me to learn how to use and inflate with a saline solution and contrast inside, which was really interesting and a rare opportunity for a student like myself. Lindsay had made my whole internship in cardiology worthwhile because she spent every opportunity she could to educate me on any question or procedure I knew nothing on. It was really refreshing to me to have someone explaining everything they are doing while they are doing it. Sarah was also a great resource during my internship because she always made sure I had something to do and she was always there and excited to answer any question I had. Sarah has impacted my career pathway because most of my focus before this internship in Cardiology was in the physician side of medicine and never on anything such as nursing, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. After meeting her and hearing her personal opinions based off of her personal experiences, my mind was opened to many more sides of medicine than before."

These interactions with healthcare professionals will forever impact the journey that these four students take. The AHECSW staff continues to be impressed with the quality interactions that our students have at these sites and the quality care that they observe these providers giving in our community! We can't wait to hear about their experiences at their next site!

HSHIP Fall Term Sites 

AIM Therapies (Mercy Medical Center)

Dr. Alanson Randol, DDS

Dr. Thomas Leech, O.D.

Shaw Heart and Vascular Center (Mercy Medical Center)

Weston Eye Center 

AHECSW BWO Programs Kick Off for Fall 2015

 Tuesday, December 01, 2015

AHECSW's Bright Works Oregon Healthcare Team Program (BWO HT Program) started out its Fall programming by sending 11 students from Douglas County to explore healthcare educational pathways at the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest (COMPNW) and Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU). The students that participated in this trip were part of the Bright Works Oregon Healthcare Team Summer Leadership Program. Students enrolled in the leadership program had to go through 20+ hours of professional development and career exploration before being accepted for this trip. Additionally, they were also required to complete a community health project and this summer they chose to focus on a tobacco prevention initiative. The students selected were interested in a variety of career pathways including: nursing, dentistry, physician assistant, and physician. Many of the students selected have also expressed an interest in coming back to serve in a rural community upon completion of their education.

Emma Myers, a junior at Douglas High School in Winston, OR, shared her thoughts on her experience and how it helped to build her confidence. Emma stated that, "Before going to the OHSU campus, med school was surrounded in this mystic haze. It felt like it was some impossible goal, but after going there and meeting their staff I was suddenly aware that these people were just people like me. It helped me realize that my goals were reachable"

Soon after the trip our chapter meetings kicked off in Douglas County. We currently have 33 students enrolled with a representation from Camas Valley Charter School, Douglas High School, Glide High School, Phoenix Charter School, Oakland High School, Oregon Virtual Academy, Roseburg High School, and Yoncalla High School. The chapters are being lead by our college pre-health advisers, Lucas Short and Jason Duval. We have had some great presentations already! We had a wonderful presentation from the Umpqua Community College nursing students.The nursing students were able to present on the steps required to get into the nursing program, the nursing thinking process, and basic vitals. Our advisers were also able to instruct students on how to build a resume and gastroenterology careers. Randy Chase visited our group to discuss the value of communication as a skill for future success and to help support a rat dissection that focused on the digestive system after our discussion on gastroenterology. Through the BWO program our students were additionally able to celebrate Rural Healthcare Day by recognizing local providers, provide outreach in the community during Halloween with South River Community Health Center, and attend a surgical viewing at Providence Medical Center to view a total knee replacement with an orthopedic surgeon.

Emily Do, a junior at Roseburg High School in Roseburg, OR, interested in becoming a Physician Assistant (PA), commented on her experience in the program stating that, "The BWO team has given me an opportunity to fulfill a leadership position while working with new individuals who share my interest in the medical field. I have gained new skills with surgical viewings, dissections, seminars, and working with healthcare professionals. This program has reassured my passion in healthcare careers."     

While future nursing student and senior at Roseburg High School, Crystal Rodriguez, has found the program to be, "impactful, educational, and inspiring" Crystal shared, "I have enjoyed my  experiences with AHECSW throughout the fall semester from dissecting a rat to learning how to become a Registered Nurse.I have learned and gained so much, as well as having the opportunity to show appreciation to the healthcare community around me for supporting not only this amazing program, but for providing amazing care for people in Roseburg."

Taylor Kuntz, a junior at Sutherlin High School in Sutherlin, OR, who aspires to be an anesthesiologist, discussed her appreciation for this program and opportunity by saying, "The BWO program has given me amazing opportunities to advance in my medical field aspirations. Living in a rural community makes it difficult to get hands-on experience with professionals; but thanks to this program I have been able to view a live surgery, take a tour of OHSU, and get CPR certified. The program also gives me a chance to give back to my community." 

The AHECSW team loves the enthusiasm and passion our amazing team of students has demonstrated so far this Fall for rural healthcare. We look forward to welcoming more students into the program this year that have an interest in healthcare. The students in our program not only want to pursue this career, but they have shown that they care about their community and the people in it. Our support from our local partners has continued to be wonderful. We appreciate their continued commitment to inspire youth in our community, as well as provide unique opportunities.

OHSU & COMPNW Experience   

AHEC Program Office



OHSU PA Program

OHSU Medical School Admissions 

OHSU Simulation Lab 

OHSU Surgical Department 

BWO Fall Chapters

Phoenix Charter School- Chapter Host 

Randy Chase- Presenter 

South River Community Health Center- Chapter Host, Presenter, and Event Partner 

Umpqua Community College Nursing Students- Presenter

Providence Hospital Surgical Viewing

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center

Cortney Humbert, Nursing Student- Volunteer 

Gabrielle Webster, Phoenix School Teacher- Volunteer

Fall Supporters

DA Davidson

Mercy Medical Center

Umpqua Valley Regional STEAM Hub 

Fall Program Staff

Jason Duval, Pre-Health Advisor and Winston Chapter Leader 

Lucas Short, Pre-Health Advisor and Roseburg Chapter Leader 

Rose Zoellner, Program Director 




Oregon GME Consortium Created to Establish Residency Programs in Rural and Underserved Areas

 Wednesday, November 04, 2015
Roseburg, OR – Like other states across the country, Oregon faces a critical primary care physician shortage. A recent study estimates the need for an additional 1,726 physicians (all specialties), 332 nurse practitioners, and 168 physician assistants in Oregon. Clearly, Oregon is in critical need of a solution.

To address this need, hospitals, health systems, physician groups and both Oregon medical schools have come together to form the Oregon Graduate Medical Education (GME) Consortium. Consortium members agree that urgent steps must be taken to ensure rural Oregonians, as well as those from underserved communities, have access to doctors when they need them. Consortium Board members will be announced on November 19th in Roseburg.

“When physicians complete their residencies in rural locations, it is more likely they will stay and establish practices in those communities. Unfortunately, in 2011, Oregon had only 8.4 primary care residents per 100,000 population, ranking the state fortieth in the nation. This is why the Oregon GME Consortium will focus on establishing new or expanding existing residency programs to address the coming physician shortage, “explains Cathryn Cushing, Executive Director for the Oregon GME Consortium.  

To meet the demand for primary care due to a growing and aging population and those newly insured under the Affordable Care Act, a thirty-eight percent increase in the primary care physician workforce is needed in Oregon by 2030[1].

 “Increasing the number of primary care providers is important for the health of Oregonians, especially those in rural areas,” Cushing continues. “Primary care physicians improve outcomes for patients and patient care while lowering cost. The Oregon GME Consortium will help Oregon achieve this winning strategy.

What: Official announcement of the Oregon GME Consortium members at Umpqua Community College 

When: November 19th, 10:30am

Where: Umpqua Community College, Lang Center Room 204, 1140 Umpqua College Road, Roseburg, Oregon 97470

Contact: Cathryn Cushing, Executive Director, Oregon GME Consortium, 503-804-9171


The Oregon Legislature’s Healthcare Workforce Committee recommended the development of a statewide, inclusive primary care GME Consortium and stated in a 2014 report that “a GME Consortium would allow all those who would benefit from a community-based primary care residency program to participate, to share the risks and rewards and support each other through the process.”

To implement this recommendation, the Oregon GME Planning Group formed. Planning Group members include representatives from both of Oregon’s medical schools, OHSU and the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest (COMP-Northwest), two health systems, the Oregon Health Authority, the Area Health Education Center of Southwest Oregon (AHECSW), and several experts in Family Medicine GME. The group selected Tripp Umbach, a Pittsburgh-based consulting firm, to guide the development of the Consortium.

The Consortium is working to develop a funding model for new residency programs. Currently, Federal programs from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) provide payments for graduate medical education, but those payments fall short of covering program costs. Consortium members will contribute financially to support the development of the program, however, additional support is envisioned to come from the state as well as from community and philanthropic organizations. Benefits to members are seen through increased access to qualified healthcare providers, a decrease in recruiting costs, improved access for patients, and a decrease in provider turnover.

Through the Consortium, new primary care residency programs in many areas of the state will be created. The residency programs will be structured in agreement with standards of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. These programs will allow medical school graduates to remain in Oregon to complete their residency training.

The consortium model is relatively new. Georgia has developed a GME consortium, and a similar project is currently underway in Indiana.

 For more information about the Oregon GME Consortium, contact Cathryn Cushing at (503) 804-9171 or

[1] “Oregon: Projecting Primary Care Physician Workforce”, Robert Graham Center, 2013.

Meet AHECSW's High School Healthcare Interns 2015-16

 Tuesday, October 20, 2015
 This year AHECSW had 12 students apply for our high school healthcare internship program (HSHIP). Students applying to this program had to fill out an electronic application, submit three essay questions, and those that made it past the essay questions were invited to participate in a panel interview. In addition to our previous requirements, we had our four interns participate in our summer leadership program which included career exposure, professionalism development, health-related training, and participation in a community health project. Students were required to spend a minimum of 20 hours over the summer participating in this program and in addition to the summer leadership program our interns participated in more advance health-related training for an additional 16 hours. Four students made it through the rigorous application and training process and AHECSW is excited to introduce to you to our class of 2015-16 for the HSHIP program.

Abby Lyons is a senior at Yoncalla High School and she hopes to attend Brigham Young University after she graduates to obtain her bachelor's degree in nursing. Abby has plans to continue her education to help her meet her ultimate goal of becoming a nurse practitioner. Abby knows that healthcare is the pathway that she wants to pursue, but through this program she hopes to explore all of her options to help her determine that this is the medical degree that she wants to obtain and the career pathway that will be the best fit for her. 
Abby has started her first term at Dr. Alanson Randol's office.When reflecting on her first week she described it as "amazing". On her first day she worked with a dental hygienist, Nora. "I observed Nora  as she cleaned three patients' teeth. Nora explained to me what she was doing the entire time and I loved it! I watched her do perio charting, which is where they look at how far the gums are from the bone of the tooth and they put it into the computer. I met Dr. Randol too and he was really nice! I really enjoyed my first week with the office and I can't wait to see what I get to do in the upcoming weeks." 

Dylan Smith is a senior at Roseburg High School. Dylan has proven his passion for medicine through volunteering at his local hospital, job shadowing, and attending various presentations and events held by healthcare professionals to learn more about the different career pathways. Dylan hopes to attend the University of Montana after graduation, but would eventually like to make it back to the Pacific NW to obtain his graduate medical education at OHSU. Dylan is interested in becoming a physician, but is still exploring what fields interest him the most. 

Dylan is spending his first term with the Shaw Heart Center at Mercy Medical Center. After his first week there Dylan shared his perspective on working with the heart center team. "The staff are extremely kind and everyone has their own duty. They all work extremely well together and strongly believe in teamwork. I never had to ask many questions because most of the staff would inform me of everything before I could ask, which I found enjoyable. I love the Heart Center so far because the staff themselves love their job and it is visible by their attitude and the way they do things. My first week in the Shaw Heart Center was absolutely amazing. On my first day I watched a pacemaker get put in by by Dr. Tripuraneni and it was very interesting."

Emma Myers is a junior at Douglas High School.She has been preparing for her future in medicine by volunteering at her local hospital, job shadowing various medical professionals, and attending healthcare career presentations. When she is not focused on working on something directly healthcare related she’s participating in various clubs within her school including Science Olympiad and Mathletes. Emma hopes this experience will help her answer questions like, “Is this a work environment I would enjoy?”, “What makes the people in this field passionate about their work?”, “What is there about this field of medicine that I enjoy?” and more. Once she graduates high school she plans to pursue her undergraduate degree in biology and then after that is completed she plans to complete a graduate program based on which field of microbiology has captured her heart in the end. 

Emma is spending her first term with Dr. Thomas Leech's office and the Weston Eye Center. During Emma's first week with Dr. Leech she had the unique opportunity to observe patient appointments. A highlight from the first week for her was " A patient whose appointment I was given the privilege of sitting in on suffered from glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease where there is too much pressure inside of someone's eye. This is caused either by an individual's eye either producing too much vicious humor or their eye not filtering out the vicious humor fast enough. This particular patient had lost a majority of their peripheral vision in their left eye due to the damage caused to their optic nerve from the glaucoma. I learned a lot not just from these particular case studies though. Dr. Leech also gave me the opportunity to ask questions about his equipment and methods.Overall I found it to be an extremely enriching experience and I cannot wait to go back to his office next week so that I can learn even more."

Stella Moon is a senior at Roseburg High School. Her passion for serving in medicine has been reflected in many different activities throughout her community. Stella volunteers at her local hospital, is an active volunteer member of an AHECSW medical volunteer program, and attends medical career days and camps. Her favorite classes in school include AP/CC Calculus and Advanced Chemistry. After she graduates Stella hopes to graduate from a liberal arts college and medical school, most likely as a biochemistry major. She hopes to be serving a rural community in the future as a specialized doctor, pursuing her dream of helping a small town.  

Stella is spending her first term with the Mercy Institute of Rehabilitation. She started off her first week meeting a wide variety of professionals within the department including technicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and the office staff. "On my first day, I shadowed a technician and learned the procedures related to her job. I also shadowed two physical therapists who dealt with patients with back or leg injuries and an occupational therapist who worked with a wrist injury. I feel like I have adapted well to my site and I am excited for the weeks to come."

The HSHIP program is going into its fourth year and we are thrilled to welcome our new class of students. We can't wait to see what this year's interns accomplish. Congratulations Abby, Dylan, Emma, and Stella! Your hard work and passion for pursuing a healthcare career have paid off! Welcome to the AHECSW family!

Tragedy hits home and AHECSW is proud of our community’s healthcare team

 Thursday, October 08, 2015

My wife Jamie and I decided to meet up at our local coffee hangout for a few minutes before my next meeting last Thursday.  Minutes before she arrived, a women came crashing into the café full of people yelling, “everyone start praying! 20 people have been shot at UCC and some are believed to be dead!”  Everyone stopped to look at her in disbelief and then went back to their conversations.  With dubiety, I started whispering questions to those I knew sitting there to verify if they had heard or seen anything that remotely lined up with such an allegation.  While people were shrugging their shoulders in just as much confusion, Jamie walked in the door and I told her the peculiar story.  Within seconds, the sound of phones everywhere filled the room and people evacuated the coffee shop immediately.  Still, in somewhat disbelief and distress, Jamie and I were aimlessly punching numbers on our phone to reach anyone we could who might be tied to this news.  Jamie, an OR nurse, called the hospital in order to get a direct response.  The horror struck.  She, on her day off, was to come in ASAP as victims of the shooting from Umpqua Community College, just several miles from the café, were en route.  The news sunk in and we were both in shock.  Seeing my wife turn several shades of white and begin shaking as we both tried sorting out details for the next few hours was a new experience for me.

There are many stories like this unraveling that were time stamped at 10:35AM on October 1, 2015.  It’s difficult for anyone to imagine that such tragedy can strike at anytime and anyplace without warning.  It’s also hard to contemplate that this type of atrocity could brush through a small, quaint town of 22,000.  However, what we witnessed here in Roseburg was a community, regardless of all of its differing sub-cultures, cleave together to help, make sense of, mourn, and support one another.  The many hubs in this town, be it the church community, education, healthcare, industry, non-profits, and government alike began interlocking like gears in clockwork.  Through all of the fracas, there was a rhythm; a constant or calming because leaders began to emerge.  In many cases, the most unlikely leaders.  There, began soon after, a turning of events; men, women, and children of all ages intuitively created collective groups organizing their own missions to help with immediate needs or build upon the successes of others.

We witnessed this directly with the fluid coordination of care within our healthcare community and how they mobilized effectively on that day.  Never before had I heard so many healthcare professionals in this region speak so proudly that they were part of such an awesome team.  From the EMS first responders to flight transfer units, ER, lab, radiology, the OR, ICU to the work of respiratory therapists, physicians, nurses, techs, urologists, orthopedic surgeons, general surgeons, and even dieticians, pharmacy and physical therapists to name a few; it was all hands-on-deck, superbly orchestrated and calculated with the baton carefully handed to one another.  As you can see, the impact of this one event hits every single area of healthcare and no matter what area of healthcare one is interested in, all have a huge and meaningful role. And lest we not forget that because of our highly trained rural healthcare teams, lives were saved.

AHECSW wants to thank our healthcare workforce for their unwavering dedication to this rural community, their persistent drive for greatness, and compassion toward their patients.

Lastly, we’d like to ask you to continue to keep this community, those who were directly affected, and the families of the victims in your thoughts and prayers during this time.  We have a long road of healing and still many floating pieces that will be difficult to make sense of.  Some of you around the state and country have reached out to us already, and I thank you greatly.  Simple words of warm encouragement go a long way.

And as a final remark, AHECSW is looking for what its specific role should be in the aftermath of this tragedy to aid those in need. We will continue to help leverage the healthcare community’s resources for even a greater future workforce and support UCC who prepares many of our allied health and nursing staff.  However our thoughts on exceptional support have ranged from offering a yearly scholarship for EMS, nursing, or other healthcare fields at UCC, to increasing support through resources and funding to UCC’s healthcare programs.  I would love to get your feedback and ideas as to what direction we should explore.

On behalf of our AHECSW staff and team, as well as the Board of Directors, we thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers.


Chris Guastaferro
Executive Director
Area Health Education Center of Southwest Oregon




BWO Programs Shine Bright in Douglas County

 Monday, September 14, 2015

Fall has arrived and the AHECSW staff is preparing for another busy academic year. We are excited about the new adventures that 2015-2016 will bring and would like to reflect on some of our successes from the 2014-2015 programs. AHECSW had the opportunity to work alongside some key partners that helped us to further develop and evaluate our programs to define a direction for 2015-2016. We had the opportunity to see some of the feedback put to work over the summer with our summer leadership program. 

The programs in Douglas County were able to reach more youth, work with more schools, increase student's exposure to more healthcare career pathway options, and increase student knowledge, skills, and preparedness to be accepted in post-secondary healthcare education programs. Here are some highlights from our 2014-15 program year. 

¨  Sixty (60) high schools students from ten different high schools in Douglas County participated in our programs.  Of that total amount, fifteen (15) high school students from the summer program obtained their healthcare provider CPR certification. 

¨ The internship program completed its third year. We have had ten (10) students graduate from the program and of the ten (10), nine (9) students have been accepted and are enrolled in college courses to pursue healthcare career pathways.

¨ Our students completed six (6) community health projects. That engaged 563 community members, allowed students to complete two (2) health focused videos and they submitted two (2) articles to the News Review on their projects that were published.

¨ We have had nine (9) healthcare pathway college students participate in presenting and mentoring high school students as well as assisting with program development. We were able to hire three (3) college graduates from that group. One (1) has been accepted to OHSU and two (2) are planning to apply. All students were graduates from Douglas County high schools.

¨  Sixty-five (65) healthcare professionals participated in the programs through presentations, hosting students, and providing resources and advising for program development. Fourteen (14) professionals from other industries related to health or education additionally offered support and advising for program projects , curriculum development , and events.

 Thirty-two (32) percent of the students enrolled in our program this year met the criteria to be considered disadvantaged due to financial situation or being the first in their family to attend college. We had a diverse group of students this year and had wonderful feedback from professionals on their engagement, interest levels, and professionalism. The support from the community and our key partners helped to guide these students and ignite their passion for healthcare and healthy communities. Every presentation, healthcare mentor, volunteer, and resource provided truly has made a difference in our community and in our programs.

Heading in this next year we hope to be able to expand our opportunities, connect with more youth, increase our resources and tools to continue to help to continue to build a strong healthcare workforce pipeline in Douglas County by focusing on our students and providing them with the skills and opportunities that will help them thrive in this field. We would like to recognize some of our major contributors, partners, and supporters for 2014-15 as we move into this next phase! We are thankful for their involvement! 

Program Sponsors: Student Scholarships and Projects

Umpqua Valley Regional STEAM Hub & Douglas County Partners for Student Success ATRIO
DA Davidson Companies
Architrave Health LLC
Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians
Mercy Medical Center

High School Healthcare Internship Supporters (HSHIP)

Community Cancer Center
Countryside Veterinary Service
Dr. Alanson Randol, DDS
Douglas County Fire District No. 2
Mercy Medical Center
-Emergency Department,
-Mercy Institute of Rehabilitation
-Oregon Surgery Center
- Radiology
-Shaw Heart Center
Roseburg Foot & Ankle Specialists- Dr. Kash Siepert and Dr. Cordell Smith
Umpqua Community Health Center

Bright Works Oregon Healthcare Team (BWO)

- Elaine Cheney, NP
City of Roseburg Fire Department
-Waylon Faulkner
Community Cancer Center
-Angelia Freeman, BSB/A
-Tammy Hagedorn, BBA, RT(R)(T)
Douglas County Public Health Department
Robin P. Stalcup
Evergreen Family Medicine
-Dr. Charlie Ross, DO
Mercy Medical Center
-Jacque Jones, MT- Mercy Lab
-Kim Turner, Registered Dietician
-Michelle Kronner, Director of Volunteer Services
South River Community Health Center
-Angela Olson-----MA
-Cora Platt-----Psychologist
-Courtney McLeod-----FNP
-Jonathan Russell-----PA
- Michael Fernandez- Crossroads Counselor and Outreach Coordinator
-Nicole Fullmer----Front Office Manager
-Skyler Meyer-----FNP
Community Health and Project Partners
-Bike Walk Roseburg
-Douglas County YMCA
-Mercy Medical Center Foundation
-South River Community Health Center
-Westside Community Garden & Umpqua Valley Disabilities Network
-Winston Oregon Park Board

Bright Works Oregon Summer Leadership Program 
Andy Hatfield- Douglas County Fire District No. 2
Dr. Charlie Ross, DO- Evergreen Family Medicine

Dr. Greg Valle- Weston  Eye Center
Randy Chase- Retired High School Science Teacher
Robert Dunas- Mercy Medical Center
Robin P. Stalcup- Douglas County Public Health
Umpqua Community College Nursing Students
Wild Life Safari Veterinary Staff

Diagnosis Day

Douglas County Partners for Student Success and the Umpqua Valley Regional STEAM Hub 
Mercy Medical Center 
Douglas County Fire District 2 
Evergreen Family Medicine 
REACH Air Medical 
Crystal Creek Meats 
Umpqua Community College's Nursing Program 

Trauma Day Healthcare Professionals:
Dr. Heidi Beery, MD 
Dr. Jennifer Bodenhamer, DO 
Dr. Claire Stone, MD
Jacque Jones, MT 
Jean Walker, Lane County Blood Bank 
Keith Neff, Flight Paramedic
Morgan Petersen, NP 
Nolan McGinnis, Paramedic
Richard Lounsbury, Paramedic
Sarah Mahlberg, RN 

Cardiac Day Healthcare Professionals:
Erin Rice, NP
Justin Moon, Ultrasound Technician
Kathleen Ross, RN
Greg Schulze, RN
Keith Neff, Flight Paramedic, REACH Air Medical

Pre-Health Professional Students: 
Hannah Harris 
Keeley Hackett 
Kayla Winston 
Natasha Kress 
Sierra Smith 

Diagnosis Day Planning Committee Members: 
Ana Brar, Mercy Pharmacy Tech and OHSU Medical Student
AJ Chitwood, Mercy Security
Dr. Heidi Beery, MD, Evergreen Family Medicine 
Jason Duval, Pre-Health College Student
Jennifer Ranger, Mercy Volunteer Department Assistant 
Keith Neff, REACH flight paramedic 
Katrina Sansom, Mercy Medical Center Billing
Lesa-Beth Titus, RN, Mercy Emergency Department 
Lucas Short, Pre- Health College Student
Michelle Kronner, Mercy Volunteer Director

Randy Chase, Community Volunteer/Retired Teacher 

Extension Program and Statewide Opportunities:
College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest
Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU)

New Partners 2015-16:

Dr. Thomas Leech, O.D.
Phoenix Charter School
More coming soon....


 Thursday, July 30, 2015

On July 15 six  students from SW Oregon arrived at OHSU for camp HPREP along with 27 students that came from rural regions from all over the state.  Students had the opportunity to learn about medical research, engage with medical students, have hands-on experiences in the OHSU simulation lab, and through special project they learned about the public health issues that existed in their individual county and had the opportunity to engage in rich conversation to compare the issues with students from other areas.  We were also thrilled to welcome back previous AHEC high school program participants to serve as counselors. AHECSW was able to get Sean Bowden involved as our SW counselor. Sean is going into his sophomore year at Linfield College on a pre-med track and participating in a summer research program.  When reflecting on the program, Sean shared this:

"Camp HPREP was aimed at immersing students in various healthcare fields. This goal was brilliantly achieved as students were immersed in conversation with professionals and students from various professions. Personally, I found the panel with medical students to be very informative and entertaining because the energy from everyone in the room was intellectual, friendly, and welcoming. I think the participants of the camp really enjoyed the Simulation Lab as well, especially because we were able to observe a simulated child birth! An evening highlight from the camp was traveling the Powell's bookstore and exploring downtown Portland in our free time. Overall, the camp was an enjoyable experience that I hope more students have the opportunity to explore in the future."

 Our students were thrilled to be able to make these connections and have these opportunities. We would like to thank everyone involved in making this event possible for our rural youth in SW Oregon. We greatly appreciated the outstanding students that we had representing our region at the camp. 

Cardiac Day at Mercy Medical Center

 Monday, July 20, 2015

On Saturday, June 20, 2015 at Mercy Medical Medical Center 20 students from all over Douglas County and 2 students from Lane County came to participate in Cardiac Day 2015. Students started the morning with a presentation from Nurse Practitioner Erin Rice from the Shaw Heart and Vascular Specialists.  Erin's presentation gave students an overview of what a myocardial infarction is and after her presentation, students viewed an interview conducted with a mock patient that was presenting with symptoms related to this diagnosis.  From there students gathered into groups and headed up to their activity. 

At one of the stations students worked with Keith Neff, a paramedic from REACH Air Medical, to learn more about what would happen when the paramedics arrived and responded to a potential myocardial infarction. After walking the students through hooking up their mock patient to a 12 lead EKG and engaging in a discussion on what they were viewing, students additionally had the opportunity to practice inserting an IV into a mannequin arm.  

At another stop, students learned about echocardiograms from Justin Moon, an ultrasound technician and the supervisor of the Shaw Heart Center.  Students had the opportunity to practice taking an echo on a student volunteer and learn more about his career pathway.Students had a wonderful time learning and engaging with professionals.  At another activity station, they were able to learn more about stress testing from registered nurse, Greg Schulze. Greg walked students through what was involved with the stress testing and answered any and every questions they could possibly have about working in the healthcare field and being an RN.

Finally, students had the opportunity to walk through the Cath Lab with registered nurse, Kathleen Ross.  After going through the lab, students went back into a viewing room to learn more from Kathleen about the procedures and view images from past procedures.  Students were thrilled at having this opportunity and for many this was the highlight of the day.

We had wonderful feedback from students.  Many were thankful for the opportunity and eager to get involved with more healthcare career education activities.  To complete the day and learning experience, we had retired anatomy teach, Randy Chase, provide a presentation on the anatomy of the heart, followed by a dissection.

 Overall our students had a wonderful experience.  We are so thankful for the continued support of Mercy Medical Center, the Douglas County Partners for Student Success, and our local Umpqua Valley Regional STEAM hub for helping us to continue these opportunities for youth that are passionate about healthcare careers.  We had a wonderful committee that worked hard to organize the event and some outstanding presenters that really went above and beyond to help ensure that the activities would keep students excited and engaged!  We would also like to recognize all of the amazing students that attended, asked intelligent questions, and are continuing on the path t be our future workforce!

Cardiac Day Presenters

Erin Rice, NP

Justin Moon, Ultrasound Technician

Kathleen Ross, RN

Greg Schulze, RN

Keith Neff, Flight Paramedic, REACH Air Medical

Cardiac Day Committee

Michele Kronner, Mercy Director of Volunteer Services

Jennifer Ranger, Mercy Volunteer Department Assistant

Ana Brar, OHSU, 1st year medical student

Randy Chase, Retired Educator

Andrew Chitwood, Mercy Security

Lucas Short, Bright Works Oregon Pre-Health Advisor

Rose Zoellner, AHECSW Program Director

Meet Our Douglas County Pre-Health Advisors

 Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Area Health Education Center of Southwest Oregon (AHECSW) recently hired two pre-health professional advisers to over see our Douglas County Bright Works Oregon Healthcare Team Summer Leadership Program. Both advisers recently graduated college and have plans to pursue graduate level education for their desired healthcare professions. This summer they will be mentoring and training students on skills that are pertinent to the healthcare workforce along with some educational trips and hands-on opportunities such as anatomy lessons paired with dissection, suturing, learning basic vitals, and getting students CPR certified. Our center is thrilled to have them on board for the summer, please continue to read on to learn a little more about Jason Duval and Lucas Short. 

Jason Duval is a fourth year honors undergraduate student at Oregon State University majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry. He holds a 3.78 cumulative GPA and is extremely active in his community through his volunteer work at his local Habitat for Humanity, Humane Society, and Jackson Street Youth Shelter. Jason has proven his passion for medicine through volunteering at Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg throughout three years of high school, attending career days annually held at OSU, volunteering for blood drives, shadowing physicians, and participating in events put on by the Bioethics Society. He is currently working on his Honors Thesis covering the different aspects of interactions between patients who are terminally ill and their primary physicians. Some of his favorite subjects in college include anatomy and organic chemistry. He is also in strong support of living a healthy lifestyle and remains active by competing in several long-distance cross country races with his team Run Portland in the fall and running off season in his free time. 

Lucas Short is a University of Oregon graduate who received degrees in both Biology and Anatomy and Physiology. Lucas intends to apply to a MD, DO, or PA program within the state of Oregon in the coming year. Presently, Lucas is completing a phlebotomy certification program at Umpqua Community College and is working with the Area Health Education Center of Southwest Oregon.  Lucas hopes that the opportunities afforded by his completion of the phlebotomy program and his work with AHEC will give him experience in both a clinical and community health settings. His goals this summer will be to create a positive experience for the youth he works with and to help them complete an informative project for their community. 

AHECSW is thrilled to have Jason and Lucas join our team and our high school students are equally appreciative! Welcome Jason and Lucas, thank you for your commitment to working in healthcare field and mentoring rural students. 

Teen Volunteer and Bandon Student Rose Garrett Receives Scholarship for Nursing

 Thursday, June 25, 2015

“Rose is a rockstar,” is what Bandon School District Superintendent Diane Buche commented when asked about AHECSW student volunteer Rose Garrett. 

Rose has been volunteering daily with Southern Coos Hospital and Health Center this past year as she finished her senior year of high school and even took three extra college level courses.  She is already enrolled to take another 15 credits at Southwestern Community College this summer as well as work towards her Certified Nursing Assistant certification before the next school year starts.  Her goal is to be able to enter nursing school a year ahead of schedule in the Fall of 2016.

During her time at Southern Coos Hospital, Rose spent a lot of time in both the nursing department and in the lab.  Her time in the lab corresponded to a chemistry course she was taking, so she found her time there really beneficial, as she could learn while on the job.   She said the best thing she learned there was how to find a good vein which she believes will help her out greatly as a nurse.

While in the nursing department, Rose used her time wisely by taking everything in and then studying at home to learn more.  She was able to shadow both RN’s and CNA’s and she feels that she learned a lot about patient comfort and hospitality.  She felt that all of the nurses were very helpful and shared their own schooling experiences with her to help her choose the right path. 

Before volunteering at the hospital, she knew she was interested in becoming a nurse, but had never really spent any time with nurses or in hospitals so most of her exposure had been from television.  Due to her experience this year, she is now confident she is making the right choice to go into nursing and is grateful for the opportunity that AHECSW gave her.

Rose graduated from Bandon High School this past Saturday and was thrilled to receive over $8500 in scholarships toward nursing school.