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AHECSW is a sub-recipient of the Umpqua Valley Regional Steam Hub mini grant

 Thursday, January 08, 2015

The goal of AHECSW is to transcend boundaries and explore innovative approaches to develop and connect people across sectors and disciplines, capitalize on technology to promote networking and mentoring, and reach support of many more individuals.  AHECSW has been influential in the development of leaders in medically underserved areas through their collaborations.

By creating environments where youth-professional mentor relationships “just happen”, AHECSW has found that positive cultural experiences take place naturally.  Experiences that take root and lead to positive cultural experiences, nurturing the soul and the eventual discovery of self not just for an individual but also a population.  Why this has been so critical in AHECSW’s work is that it creates a template for changes in the environment, policy, and health landscape.  In other words, AHECSW’s data trends show that there is a strong link between the relationship between a youth and a professional mentor relative to how a culture is developed for future generations and their decision making.  Often, these relationships are cultivated within a workforce setting.  In AHECSW’s case, a culture of health is created from painting a strategic canvas of exposure to the possibilities, experiencing the results, and immersing oneself deeper to create a tipping point of culture change and sustainability.

The Goal: There is a synchronicity between increased health and education and that of economic vitality.  By creating a culture of health by building a healthier community through strategic partnerships to expand and grow a community’s access to healthy activities, education and resources, a community will also increase its economic wealth. With the overlaying of the right resources, students and community members in every industry and generation will be invested in working towards improving a community’s health by focusing on the issue and hope of a culture of health. Our guiding principles include the following:

  • Health of a community will gradually improve over time due to the cross-sectional efforts of experienced adults and youth efforts
  • The health of the community has an impact on the retention and recruitment of our future workforce and the youth need to be involved in the process as future residents
  • Natural adult-youth relationships within a community will develop, leading to innovative solutions because they will have ownership of the process
  • Students will form positive relationships with adult mentors and be better informed on careers before entering college and be capable of making better decisions because of the expansive career exposure and their supports

AHECSW’s partnership with the Douglas County Partners for Student Success (DCPSS) is an example of how several organizations can champion an initiative by moving the needle on education and health.  In 2013, the Oregon Education Investment Board has launched a pilot program to help meet key student outcomes such as getting children ready for kindergarten, creating opportunities for high school students to earn college credit, and ensuring smooth transitions into career and college. Eleven regions across the state were selected to participate in Regional Achievement Collaboratives (RACs), where they will work together to improve outcomes across the educational continuum and overall educational quality throughout the region.  Regions selected to participate in the pilot were chosen based on depth of partnerships, commitment to P-20, and potential for implementing innovating and effective projects. 

DCPSS was one of the pilot programs that was chosen in an effort to transform how Douglas County views education and help synchronize efforts among like-minded organizations to evaluate and hopefully begin changing the educational landscape.  Decision-making for goals and strategies were guided by areas of emphasis already in place locally and statewide such as the Governor’s 40-40-20 Initiative, Achievement Compacts, Career and College Readiness initiatives and the Early Learning Initiative.

Out of this initiative, DCPSS responded to the RFP posted by Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to develop a partnership plan for a regional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Hub and was awarded funding.  The purpose of promoting STEM education from cradle to career is to increase positive and engaging real-life experiences in STEM areas leading students to appropriate coursework in high school and post-secondary education, preparing them for future careers. Douglas County is economically dependent on STEM related industries and careers including those in the natural resources and health fields.  Developing direct experiences in the STEM environments through mentorships, internships, job shadows and before/after school and summer programming will expose students to future opportunities in STEM-related careers they would not otherwise be familiar with. 

A STEM Hub would serve as a magnet to pull together entities already providing programming in Douglas County for youth and adults to create a sense of purpose for education and a roadmap for future plans beyond high school

A STEM Hub would address priorities identified by all three Collaborative Resource Teams including:

  • Before/After School and summer programming throughout the county
  • Internships, Mentorships and Authentic Project-based learning opportunities

AHECSW was awarded $15,980.00 to support the expansion of the Bright Works Oregon Healthcare Team program as a sub-recipient of this STEM Hub. This program will allow students to view monthly healthcare career presentations, gain 60+ volunteer hours working on a community health project with health-focused organizations as well as community leaders, build a professional portfolio, work directly with local mentors that have ties to our local healthcare industry, attend two hands-on career days, and apply for a small monetary educational award to support students in the program that have an intent to pursue a health profession and return to a rural region in Oregon. There is an established Roseburg hub and we will be launching a Winston hub. AHECSW hopes to continue the expansion of this program throughout the county and region.

We would like to recognize our partners that are actively working to help make this program a success. Thank you for your investment in the future health of our community and the success of our students.

  • Mercy Medical Center
  • South River Community Health Center
  • Douglas County YMCA
  • Umpqua Community College
  • Bike Walk Roseburg
  • Westside Community Garden
  • Umpqua Community Veg Education Group
  • REACH air medical
  • Oregon Office of Rural Health
For more information or to find ways to get involved with the Bright Works Oregon Healthcare Team contact us here.

AHECSW Intern Synthany Woodley appreciates her time with Countryside Veterinary

 Monday, December 22, 2014

I have recently started interning at the Countryside Veterinary Service. The staff I have been working with are amazing and they make me feel like I am part of their team. The experience I have had so far has allowed me to shadow veterinary technicians and also a veterinarian. I have learned many new things with this hands on experience, and one of those things was the ability to work with patients that can’t communicate very easily with people.

Throughout my first week, I learned that veterinarians treat their patients for anything from a tooth ache to an in-depth surgery. Another obstacle that veterinarians face, is that not only do they need to know many different surgeries, but they need to know how to perform those surgeries on many different types of animals. Dr. Tammy Eichmann told me that the easiest surgery is an animal spay, but the hardest surgery is also an animal spay because based on the animal, you can never predict how the surgery will go. I have learned how important technicians are, and how they prepare the patient for the surgery or exam it will receive. For me to be able to observe this service behind the scenes has made me extremely thankful that a small community like Canyonville, and other places near, has a veterinary service working at its hardest.

One of the characteristics that I really wanted to experience, was what it is like to work in a team environment. I believe one of the first steps towards that is to get to know the employees. Once she wasn’t busy, I asked technician Andrea a few different questions about her profession. Her major focus is to make sure as many animals get the help they need. I have noticed that all the employees I work with while interning are very determined to get animals as healthy as possible. Dr. Tammy Eichmann told me that not caring for animals would be like not breathing for her. Being a veterinarian is like second nature to her. This to me proves how helpful the veterinary service actually is. The most memorable experience I have had so far, would be when I was able to adopt a kitten from their clinic. It was the first week I was there and a few kittens were brought in to be given new homes. I am happy to say that I was able to take in an animal in need.

I really enjoy interning at the Countryside Veterinary Service. Before this experience I had job shadowed at a veterinary service, so the option has always been in the back of my mind. But now, I can definitely picture myself looking into this profession more. Every day that I am able to go intern, I get so excited because I never know what I will experience that day. Thank you to everyone at the veterinary service for making my internship an amazing experience and treating me like a worker! I will never forget how fortunate I am to have this opportunity.


Synthany Woodley, Grade 12, Glendale High School 

Fall Regional Update

 Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Our region has been busy this fall with the start of school! Please read on to find out more about the great things that are happening with our students and programs.  

Coos County:

As of July, Bay Area Hospital has a new Volunteer Services Coordinator. Rachel Daniels has been an employee at Bay Area Hospital for the past year and previously worked in public sector HR consulting. Bay Area Hospital’s Student Volunteer Program has welcomed 12 new volunteers this fall, including several that previously served in a volunteer capacity at the hospital as Jr. Auxiliary members. New student assignments have been developed for trial, including student assistant positions in Physical Therapy, Sonography, the Medical Care Unit and Labor and Delivery.

Bandon students have been hard at work as well; receiving high school credit for volunteering, shadowing different professionals to get ready for their senior projects, and taking an online college credit course offered by NEOAHEC to help prepare them for a career in the medical field.  The Bandon students and Bay Area Hospital volunteers recently also enjoyed a presentation with the Medical Imaging Director at Southern Coos Hospital where they learned about all the interesting things in that growing field. 

Douglas County:

Douglas County has been busy kicking off the year with our 4 new AHECSW High School Interns working at Mercy Institute of Rehabilitation, Mercy Imaging, Dr. Randol, DDS’s Dental Practice, and Countryside Veterinary. This year’s interns have selected a project that will focus on bringing a youth perspective to community improvements and activities that impact how assessable physical activity options are for local community members. Our interns have already had opportunities to present to their local Live Well group and the Winston Park Board. The interns are also initiating a region wide virtual challenge to encourage people to get moving by challenging others to log the number of miles it would take to walk from the AHECSW office to OHSU by April 18. 

Bright Works Oregon Healthcare Team in Douglas County has kicked off the year with 25 students participating. Bright Works Oregon Healthcare Team students have had presentations from Mercy’s Lab, Community Cancer Center, Dr. Charlie Ross, DO with Umpqua Community Health Center, Nurse Practitioner Elaine Cheney, Angelia Freeman from Southern Oregon Screen, West Side Community Garden, and the Umpqua Community Veg Education Group. This is a group of students that is interested in exploring healthcare careers and taking on community projects that will help impact the health of the community. They have already had the opportunity to work with South River Community Health Center to provide a healthy and safe Halloween event and have a community movie event scheduled for November 15 with the Umpqua Community Veg Education Group with a Q&A presentation from a Portland based Nurse Practitioner Jeff Grimm.

To view more information on their event click here and to learn more about intern's virtual challenge you can click here.

Lane County:

The PeaceHealth  West Teen Volunteer Program at RiverBend is expanding. There are now opportunities to volunteer in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). Teen Volunteers started piloting this new volunteer position the week of October, 20th and so far feedback has been great from staff and Teen Volunteers alike. We also had wonderful success with the Health Careers Day on Saturday, November 8th  sponsored by Lane Healthcare Pathways, PeaceHealth Oregon West Network Volunteer Services and Oregon HOSA: Future Healthcare Professionals. This exciting event allowed students to participate in Healthcare sessions, gather knowledge from local professionals, network with other students and attend healthcare tours.

To read more about the Health Careers Day in Lane County click here.

AHECSW OHSU Experience 2014

 Monday, October 20, 2014

AHECSW accepted 21 students from Coos, Douglas, and Lane County that were interested in healthcare careers for their OHSU experience 2014. Students had the opportunity to visit the College of Osteopathic Medicine, OHSU, and National College of Natural Medicine. This is what some of our students had to say about their experience:

“I really enjoyed the radiation portion of our visit. I considered the occupation of a radiation oncologist after speaking with radiation therapy. I liked the fact that you get to interact with your patient for a long period of time.”

- Justin

“I loved all of it (National College of Natural Medicine)! In particular, I liked learning about sutures and the herb garden.”

- Amber

“I enjoyed learning about the history of the DO’s and the basis on which it was founded. The PA group, thank you for helping me discover what I want to do! Surgeons, thank you for the most interactive presentation!”

 - Sara

“This was an amazing trip, I learned so much and had so many new eye opening experiences, I will never forget this. Thanks tons to the presenters and the chaperones, you are all awesome and amazing people for doing things like this and taking time out of your lives to help us students. Bless you all!”

 - Kylee

We would like to thank all of the professionals that took time to talk to our students and provide additional support to them as they continue to explore healthcare as a profession. Congratulations to the students that were accepted into the program!


Dr. Bell, Ed. D

College of Ostepathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest

Jeannie Davis, MPA

College of Ostepathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest

Dr. Vicente Undurraga, MD

Research Resident OHSU

Dr. David Martin, MD

Research Resident OHSU

Andrea Tewson

Radiation Oncology OHSU

Barb Agrimson

Radiation Oncology OHSU

Andrea Williams & OHSU Dental Faculty

Dental Program OHSU

Ted Ruback & PA Department Students

PA Program OHSU

Dr. Robyn Liu, MD, MPH, FAAFP

OHSU Family Medicine at CHH

Brandon Hamilton, Director of Admissions

National College of Natural Medicine

Dr. Ryan Chamberline, ND

National College of Natural Medicine

Isabel Sweitzer, ND student

National College of Natural Medicine

Courtney Bowers, ND student

National College of Natural Medicine

Dr. Shawn Soszka, ND

National College of Natural Medicine