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AHEC Blog

Future Pre-Med Students Gain Valuable Experience as Medical Scribes

 Tuesday, October 25, 2016

 

Left Photo: Lucas Short charts information as Dr. Laurance Choate examines mock-patient Whitney Carnahan, an employee of Umpqua Community Health Center

An Innovative Program: ReConnect Scribes

In June 2016, the Area Health Education Center of Southwest Oregon (AHECSW) launched a new program called ReConnect Scribes. This unique, 14 month program is aimed at college graduates who have completed a bachelor’s degree, but are in their “gap year” between undergraduate school and higher level healthcare programs, such as medical school, physician assistant school, or nurse practitioner school. Our program places college graduates in medical scribe positions in our community. A medical scribe is a person who does all charting during physician-patient appointments in real time, as physicians are treating their patients. This is a great advantage to a physician, as it saves them from having copious amounts of charting to complete after seeing patients all day. Currently, our scribes are working full-time for the physicians at the Umpqua Community Health Center (UCHC).

While recruiting and interviewing candidates for this program, AHECSW focused on students who have a desire to work in rural healthcare settings with an underserved population. The goal is that students who participate in this program return to underserved areas to practice upon completion of their advanced medical degrees. Once scribes were hired, AHECSW provided Scribe training for them through a specialized training program called Scribe University. This allowed scribes to be as prepared as possible as they began their new positions at UCHC. Scribes began working at UCHC in June of this year and will work through July of 2017.

In addition to working full-time at the clinic, scribes are dedicating several hours a week in support of our Bright Works Oregon after-school program for high school students. Currently, scribes are working on developing case studies or “mock patient” scenarios that will be used in our Bright Works curriculum later this year. Scribes will also attend Bright Works chapter meetings and interact with high school students on case studies and college preparation activities. 

Audrey Taylor prepares labwork in-between appointmentsRight Photo: Audrey Taylor prepares lab-work in between seeing patients

Each of the scribes are currently preparing to attend advanced medical programs. Michael Graham, a graduate of Oregon State University, is preparing for Physician Assistant (PA) school. Michael aspires to begin a PA program next summer and has interviews at Oregon Health & Science University and Pacific University. Scribes Audrey Taylor and Jaide Farr are both making headway in their preparations for medical school by taking the Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT. Audrey completed her first attempt at the MCAT in September and Jaide will be taking the test in January 2017. Our fourth scribe, Lucas Short is currently considering which medical schools he will apply to and hopes to stay on the west coast for medical school.

Thus far, the program has been a resounding success for both the scribe students, as well as the physicians at UCHC. Dr. Chip Taylor, a family physician at UCHC, says “Having a scribe in the exam room changes the entire encounter in a very positive manner. After 20 years of typing in the exam room I can now return to the days when I sat close to the patient with my hands in my lap and my eyes focused on them attending to their concerns with undivided attention… at the end of the day, my notes are mostly done and I have less paperwork. The fact that the scribes come from rural Oregon is a real positive point for my patients who enjoy having my scribe in the encounter; many patients have taken a real interest in these future healthcare professionals by asking at subsequent encounters how their tests, interviews, and so-forth are coming as they progress in their professional education.”

According to Dr. Jay Richards, the Family Practice & Medical Director of UCHC, “the scribes have become a critical part of our care teams. The providers have all been very impressed with their abilities. They have also taken on process improvement tasks and training to do medical assistant duties, which gives them more hands-on patient care. This experience has provided them a better understanding of routine primary care and allows them a better informed decision as they apply for post graduate training. We are excited to expand the program to hire more scribes for next year.”

Photo Left: Michael Graham scribes for Dr. Chip Taylor at the Sutherlin clinic

When asked about his experiences in this program, scribe Michael Graham said “The scribe program has afforded me the opportunity to learn and grow as a healthcare professional in more ways than I had initially thought possible. Being in a rural federally qualified health clinic, I see numerous barriers to healthcare that individuals in a rural community face that I had previously only read about in textbooks. My position at UCHC in Sutherlin has allowed me to begin to think critically as a provider and to fully gauge my interest in working with the rural community as a PA. Each day I get the opportunity to practice humility, service, understanding, patience and empathy as I both listen to and interact with patients. The lessons I am learning both personally and professionally will serve to make me a better provider and, more importantly, a better person.”

Seeing the program become a success so quickly has prompted plans for future expansion. AHECSW plans to continue placing scribes at UCHC next summer, as well as to form new partnerships with other providers in Douglas County who could benefit from a program such as this. Marketing this unique scribe program will play a significant role in next year’s recruitment success. AHECSW will be reaching out to colleges and universities across the northwest to inform aspiring pre-med students of this opportunity. AHECSW is proud to cooperate with community partners, such as UCHC, to grow this scribe program in Douglas County. The ultimate reward would be to see these individuals return to Douglas County after medical school to provide quality healthcare in our rural community.


 

Photo Left: Jaide Farr prepares to chart information for Dr. Joseph Amavisca

 

 

 

Aspiring Healthcare Providers Participate in Bright Works Academy Camp

 Tuesday, August 23, 2016


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Area Health Education Center of Southwest Oregon (AHECSW) launched it’s first-ever Bright Works Academy Camp on July 25th. The two-week Academy program was designed for students who are confidently pursuing healthcare occupations after high school and who have previously participated in Bright Works Oregon programs. Five Douglas County students participated in the Academy, all of whom are planning on entering the healthcare workforce. The program focused on sharpening students’ professional skills, preparing them for the college and scholarship application process, and allowing them access to the expertise and wisdom of a variety of healthcare professionals. Additionally, this program offered each student job shadow experiences with local healthcare providers.

Meet the Academy Students 


 

From Left: Erica Abercrombie, Emily Do, Mady Gibbs, Taylor Kuntz, Alex Kennedy

 

 

 

 

 

Erica Abercrombie – Erica is entering her Junior year at Roseburg High School. She has participated in the Bright Works Oregon program for the last two years. She aspires to become a Cardiologist. Erica was able to gain job shadow experience at Dr. Alanson Randol’s Dental Office, as well as with Physical Therapist, Jenny Gibbs, at Achieve Physical Therapy. When asked about her experiences at Academy, Erica said “Academy Camp was a wonderful introduction to many opportunities in the medical field and life as a medical student. Through this camp we learned soft skills like interviewing, improving our résumé, and general speaking skills. These skills will definitely be useful in my path to working in the healthcare field.

Emily Do – Emily has been an active Bright Works member for the last two years. She is heading into her Senior year at Roseburg High School. After undergraduate, Emily plans to attend a Physician’s Assistant program and hopes to become a Surgical Physician’s Assistant. She was able to job shadow with Fire District 2, as well as with Dr. Smith and Dr. Bruns at the Oregon Surgery Center. According to Emily, "AHEC has given its students many wonderful opportunities to explore and learn about various healthcare careers in their CTE summer camps. It was an honor to participate in them. The camps I went to were all different and exciting; I was able to gain useful insight and critical advice on the educational paths to becoming a stellar healthcare provider."

Mady Gibbs – Mady is going to be a Sophomore at Oakland High School this fall. She has an interest in Biomedical Engineering and would potentially like to have a career involved in cancer research or in finding delivery systems for cancer treatments. She completed a job shadow with the staff in the lab of Mercy Medical Center. Mady said “Academy was an incredible opportunity for myself and others who participated to experience all aspects of the medical field, and then some. The chance to learn about different career options, how to prepare for these careers, and getting to learn about necessary things that you need to know is something many students don't get to have, but should take the opportunity to be involved with.”

Alex Kennedy – Alex will be a Senior at Sutherlin High School. He aspires to become an Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic and work with a local Fire Department. Alex has a desire to stay in our local community and plans to attend the Paramedic Program at Umpqua Community College after high school. Currently, Alex is a volunteer with the Ten-Mile Rural Fire Department. Alex had the opportunity to shadow with Deb Groshong in the Orthopedic department at Mercy Medical Center, as well as a shadow with Physical Therapist, Jenny Gibbs, of Achieve Physical Therapy. Alex said “This camp taught me more than just medical care. This camp taught me how to have a successful interview. This camp also taught me about college debt and how to pay that off. I learned more about the medical field in this camp than I have ever known.”

Taylor Kuntz – Taylor will be a Senior at Sutherlin High School this fall. Since a young age, Taylor has known she wants to become an Anesthesiologist. She has been participating in the Bright Works program for the last two years. Taylor was able to job shadow with Fire District 2, as well as with Dr. Valle at the Weston Eye Center.

 

The Academy Experience

The Academy camp kicked off with guest speaker Michelle Kronner, Director of Volunteer Services at Mercy Medical Center, who presented on the rules of HIPAA and on professionalism in the workplace. Students spent the second half of the day in a team-building activity at Roseburg’s Create & Sip Studio, where each student painted a portrait called “Roseburg Strong” to serve as a reminder of their Douglas County roots. Students also had a session with former CEO of the Roseburg Community Cancer Center, Melvin Cheney. Mr. Cheney talked about his wide variety of career experience in Oncology and the many places he worked before ending his career in Roseburg. Additionally, students had the opportunity to hear about employability and interviewing skills from Jane Fullerton and Kelley Richardson of the Human Resources Department for Mercy Medical Center. Students’ skills were put to the test during mock interviews following the presentation.

The first week of Academy concluded with a three-day trip to Portland to visit various medical institutions, including Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and the National College of Natural Medicine. This fieldtrip included both AHECSW high school camps, so Academy students had the opportunity to get to know High School Exposure Camp students. At OHSU, students toured a wide variety of departments, including the nursing school Simulation Lab, the Dental School, Radiation Therapy, and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Students had the unique opportunity to have question and answer sessions with multiple physicians while at OHSU. Students received a tour of the Doernbecher Intensive Care Unit followed by a discussion session with Dr. Laura Ibsen, a Critical Care Pediatrician, and Dr. David Rozansky, a Pediatric Nephrologist who works with children with kidney diseases. Students also met with third-year General Surgery Resident, Dr. Heather Hoops, who gave a detailed account of her path to becoming a Surgeon and the details of what daily life is like for a Surgical Resident.

The second week of the Academy camp continued with excellent presentations and the opportunity for students to complete job shadows with local healthcare providers. Bob Dunas, the Service Excellence Coordinator for Mercy Medical Center, provided students with a full day of training on “Motivational Interviewing,” where students learned how to interact with patients and empower them to make decisions that will improve the quality of their health. Umpqua Training & Employment Center (UT&E) sent career counselor, Stephe Reid, to lead a workshop with students in which they evaluated their career choices and received résumé building skills and feedback. Students interacted via video chat with Dr. Elizabeth Estabrook from Legacy Emmanuel Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Estabrook, who has been practicing internal medicine for the last 8 years, described her job as a Hospitalist and what her daily routine and schedule looks like. The final presentation at Academy provided the perfect capstone to the experience; students had a round-table discussion with Dr. Chip Taylor, a family physician with the Umpqua Community Health Center (UCHC). Dr. Taylor shared with students the knowledge he has gained through his wide variety of medical service in the Navy, as well as in his career as a family physician. During the final week of Academy, students were welcomed into job shadow placements all around the community. Academy students attended two job shadows each and had a chance to practice the professional skills they had been learning about from presenters. Many providers and organizations willingly accepted students for job shadows, including the Weston Eye Center, local dentist Dr. Alanson Randol, Fire District 2, Oregon Surgery Center, Mercy Medical Center, and Achieve Physical Therapy.

Gratitude for Community Support

A program like this can’t come together without the incredible support of our community. In addition to the gratitude we have for all the presenters and job shadow hosts mentioned above, AHECSW would like to thank the Community Cancer Center for generously allowing us the use of their conference rooms. We would also like to thank the Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub and the Douglas County Partners for Student Success (DCPSS) for securing funding for our summer camp programs. As the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child.” In this case, the support of our community will support these Academy students to achieve their future career goals. Perhaps in ten years Douglas County will be fortunate enough to have these individuals providing healthcare in our communities. We certainly look forward to following these students in the years to come as they continue their journey toward entering the healthcare workforce. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middle School MedChamps Camp Students Dive in to Health Care

 Monday, August 08, 2016


Last week 14 youth from across Southwest Oregon came together at Umpqua Community College to explore the world of health occupations in Area Health Education Center of Southwest Oregon's (AHECSW) first ever “MedChamps” middle school camp. The goal of this camp was to expose middle school students to various health professions and help them find potential careers to work toward. Those involved interacted with professionals from different areas of healthcare through engaging hands on activities.

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The week began with a dental career presentation and laboratory led by representatives from Dr. Alanson Randol’s office and the Mercy Foundation. This was followed by a day centered on the importance of a healthy lifestyle, with an energizing Zumba dance class and a presentation from Umpqua Community Veg Education Group (UC-Veg).                              

Students then delved into the basics of microscopy and histology with pathologist, Dr. Claire Stone, and heard from veterinarian, Dr. Christy Cutting, about exciting aspects of the animal world. This busy day ended with the campers cooling off in the pool, after learning about river and pool water safety of course!                                                    

After taking in some gnarly narratives and stirring stories from a variety of careers, the campers were able to sort through their experiences with career exploration activities guided by Umpqua Training and Employment UT&E).

The camp concluded with a riveting rat dissection and a dramatic Diagnosis Day with the UCC paramedic program. Campers got to try out a number of emergency medical procedures, from suturing to intubating!

Andrew Dubie, a seventh grade camper, shared that, “the hands on experience was great. I really feel that I learned a lot and would like to be a part of this next year.”                      

 

Even though the Middle School camp has ended, those of us at AHECSW are excited for the month of July, which will include two more camps, both oriented towards high school aged students. Highlights of these camps include working with airlift paramedics and a three-day excursion to visit OHSU in Portland. Information can be found under the Opportunities page of healthyoregon.com

 

AHECSW would like to thank professionals from the community for their part in inspiring our local youth to continue to learn and grow. Additionally, we would like to thank Douglas County Partners for Student Success (DCPSS) for their partnership with us and help in gathering funding for the camp.


 

CTE Summer Camps - Register Now!

 Thursday, May 19, 2016

Click on the links below to register for a CTE Summer Camp!!!

“MedChamps” Middle School Camp: June 27-July 1 (M-F), Daily times 9:00am-2:00pm

MedChamps Registration Link: https://www.volgistics.com/ex/portal.dll/ap?ap=467874508

Contact: Lacey Ferguson, Education Coordinator Email: Lferguson@healthyoregon.com

The Area Health Education Center is hosting a Middle School Healthcare Exploration Camp. This five-day camp will be held at UCC. This camp is open to middle school students in grades 6th – 8th, ages 11-14. Our program will have the capacity to serve up to 30 youth. We will present career pathway information, provide hands-on skill experiences, and guarantee fun as we explore rural healthcare, various medical careers, and spend a day conducting a mock diagnosis. This camp will be provided free of charge to students.

 

High School Healthcare Exposure Camp: July 18-29 (M-F), Daily times 9:00am-2:00pm

Healthcare Exposure Camp Registration Link: https://www.volgistics.com/ex/portal.dll/ap?ap=2028103325

Contact: Tawnie Kennedy, High School Coordinator Email: tkennedy@healthyoregon.com

The Area Health Education Center is hosting a Medical Exploration Camp from July 18-29. This ten-day camp will be held at UCC.This camp is open to high school students from 14-18 years of age. Our program will have the capacity to serve up to 20 youth. We will present career pathway information, provide hands-on skill experiences, and guarantee fun as we explore rural healthcare, various medical careers, and take students to view post-secondary medical education programs. This camp will include a 3-day, 2-night fieldtrip to Portland to explore several Oregon universities, OHSU, and the National College of Natural Medicine. This camp, including the overnight trip, will be provided free of charge to the students.

Bright Works Academy Camp: July 25-August 5 (M-F), Daily times 9:00am – 3:00pm

Bright Works Academy Registration Link: https://www.volgistics.com/ex/portal.dll/ap?ap=270124507

Contact: Lacey Ferguson, Education Coordinator Email: Lferguson@healthyoregon.com

The high school Academy Camp is designed for students who are already participating in the Bright Works Organization after-school programs or classes. This camp will focus on exploring the “soft skills” of the medical field, such as empathy, communication, bedside manner, and teamwork. Additionally, this camp will prepare students for applying to colleges and marketing themselves to universities and programs. Students will participate in group discussions, mock interviews, human resource activities, and team-building activities. This academy will also provide students with a 4 day job-shadow opportunity in the healthcare industry. This camp will include a 3-day, 2-night fieldtrip to Portland to explore OHSU and its programs. This camp, including the overnight trip, will be provided free of charge to the students.

 

 

AHECSW Wraps Up the Healthcare Adventures for 2015-2016 Academic Year

 Wednesday, May 18, 2016


As our academic year winds down, AHECSW is grateful for the wonderful presenters that connected with our youth throughout this year. Our students had support from local and statewide networks of healthcare professionals and pre-professional healthcare students that gave our youth a unique perspective on healthcare careers. Students learned both soft and hard skills this year that will help prepare them to be successful as they continue to work towards becoming future healthcare professionals.

The Winston-Dillard course at Douglas High School had the opportunity to engage with a variety of local presenters, as well as attend trips with our Roseburg Bright Works Oregon Chapter. The Winston-Dillard students had the opportunity to participate in the Healthy Kids Day at the Douglas County YMCA for their team project. During this event they pulled information from the presentations they viewed and incorporated preventative healthcare information that related to careers. This pilot project is being evaluated and the AHECSW staff has exciting plans to expand the in-school programming options in the future. This year they had the opportunity to connect the Umpqua Community College (UCC) Nursing Program, Dr. Randol, DDS’s dental practice, COMP-NW, Oegon State University (OSU), Southern Oregon University (SOU), Umpqua Community Veg Education Group (UC-VEG), and several of CHI Mercy Health’s departments including: Communications, Lab, and Radiology.

The Roseburg Bright Works Oregon Chapter got hands-on this term. They experienced dissections, professional presentations, and had the opportunity to attend two spring trips to view post-secondary healthcare education programs at Oregon State University and Southern Oregon University. Emily Do, a junior at Roseburg High School, reflected on Dr. Edward Junkins presentation on cultural diversity in healthcare that focused on understanding and respecting other cultures. She shared that, “Dr. Junkins was the most memorable guest speaker for me. He practiced soft skills such as observing patient interactions, being courteous and understanding of cultural differences, especially in the medical setting. In the current times, cultural awareness is an important factor in healthcare.” In addition to gaining insight on soft skills necessary to thrive as a future healthcare professional, some students felt like they connected to programs that increased their excitement for their post-secondary education plans. Jerika Whightsil, a sophomore at Roseburg High School stated, “The nursing program (at SOU) seems very exciting, and I learned a lot for my future path in nursing on how to get my RN. My favorite part of our visit would have to be the simulation room with the mannequins.” This year they had the opportunity to connect the UCC Nursing Program, Providence Hospital, COMP-NW, Oregon Office of Rural Health, REACH Air Medical, OSU, SOU, Umpqua Community Veg Education Group, and CHI Mercy Health’s Radiology Department. The students in the program also had the opportunity to receive their healthcare provider level CPR certification.

AHECSW High School Healthcare Interns also had an exciting winter and spring term spending time at ADAPT, the Community Cancer Center, Fire District No. 2, Roseburg Foot and Ankle Specialists, the Oregon Surgery Center (ORSC), and with several departments at CHI Mercy Health including AIM Therapies, Day Surgery, the Emergency Department, Healthy Kids Outreach Program, Lab, and Radiology. The interns have been impacted in a variety of ways this term, Stella Moon shared, “My time interning at Fire District 2 has been phenomenal, and I must say that it has been my most exciting site of my year because of the nature of the job. I go on ride-alongs on ambulances to emergency calls. It really is an exhilarating experience to have for the first time, speeding out on the road with lights and sirens to potentially save someone's life.”While Dylan Smith found his passion through quality mentoring with the ORSC and Day Surgery staff sharing, “He (local surgeon) took time to teach and show me what he was doing. He would always check to make sure I completely understood what he was doing and why he was doing it. Job shadowing in the surgery department impacted my future career interests because before I didn’t have much of an interest in surgery, but now that is my sole interest in medicine.” Three of our interns are seniors that have been accepted into colleges and still intend to pursue pre-health programs. One of our interns will graduate in 2017 with plans to enroll at university and pursue a science-focused degree pathway.

AHECSW also had the opportunity to host an EMS Career Day event at UCC that gave the students a hands-on opportunity to learn from eight paramedic students and from UCC staff. AHECSW had 17 students from all over the county come and attend. This included some students from our Bright Works Oregon Healthcare Team program, some students felt that this event was the highlight of their year. We are excited to continue our work throughout the summer and into the next academic year. Please make sure to connect with our CTE Camp announcements to learn more: http://www.healthyoregon.com/ahec-blog/announcing-cte-summer-camps .

 


Announcing CTE Summer Camps!

 Friday, May 13, 2016

AHECSW is excited to announce our CTE Summer Camp Programs!  CTE stands for Career and Technical Education.This summer, AHECSW is partnering with several community organizations to provide three summer camp experiences for Douglas County Youth.   These camps will provide interactive, hands-on experiences that will allow students to explore career options in the healthcare workforce.  See our summer camp descriptions below to decide which camp is right for you!

AHECSW Summer Camps

“MedChamps” Middle School Camp: June 27-July 1 (M-F), Daily times 9:00am-2:00pm

Contact: Lacey Ferguson, Education Coordinator   Email: Lferguson@healthyoregon.com

MedChamps Registration Link:  https://www.volgistics.com/ex/portal.dll/ap?ap=467874508

The Area Health Education Center is hosting a Middle School Healthcare Exploration Camp. This five-day camp will be held at UCC. This camp is open to middle school students in grades 6th – 8th, ages 11-14. Our program will have the capacity to serve up to 30 youth. We will present career pathway information, provide hands-on skill experiences, and guarantee fun as we explore rural healthcare, various medical careers, and spend a day conducting a mock diagnosis.  This camp will be provided free of charge to students.

 

High School Healthcare Exposure Camp: July 18-29 (M-F), Daily times 9:00am-2:00pm

Contact: Tawnie Kennedy, High School Coordinator Email: tkennedy@healthyoregon.com

Healthcare Exposure Camp Registration Link: https://www.volgistics.com/ex/portal.dll/ap?ap=2028103325  

The Area Health Education Center is hosting a Medical Exploration Camp from July 18-29. This ten-day camp will be held at UCC.This camp is open to high school students from 14-18 years of age. Our program will have the capacity to serve up to 20 youth. We will present career pathway information, provide hands-on skill experiences, and guarantee fun as we explore rural healthcare, various medical careers, and take students to view post-secondary medical education programs. This camp will include a 3-day, 2-night fieldtrip to Portland to explore several Oregon universities, OHSU, and the National College of Natural Medicine. This camp, including the overnight trip, will be provided free of charge to the students.

 

Bright Works Academy Camp: July 25-August 5 (M-F), Daily times 9:00am – 3:00pm

Contact: Lacey Ferguson, Education Coordinator     Email: Lferguson@healthyoregon.com

Bright Works Academy Camp Registration Link: https://www.volgistics.com/ex/portal.dll/ap?ap=270124507

The high school Academy Camp is designed for students who are already participating in the Bright Works Organization after-school programs or classes. This camp will focus on exploring the “soft skills” of the medical field, such as empathy, communication, bedside manner, and teamwork. Additionally, this camp will prepare students for applying to colleges and marketing themselves to universities and programs. Students will participate in group discussions, mock interviews, human resource activities, and team-building activities. This academy will also provide students with a 4 day job-shadow opportunity in the healthcare industry. This camp will include a 3-day, 2-night fieldtrip to Portland to explore OHSU and its programs. This camp, including the overnight trip, will be provided free of charge to the students.


 

 

AHECSW Students Visit Oregon State University

 Friday, April 01, 2016

The Area Health Education Center of Southwest Oregon (AHECSW) had the opportunity to take 22 students from Douglas County to visit Oregon State University (OSU) on February 26, 2016. The trip included students from Douglas High School, Phoenix Charter School, Roseburg High School, and Sutherlin High School. Students had the opportunity to learn about the human body and were able to participate in hands-on activities such as manipulating the cadavers to see various internal and external structures. During these sessions, students had questions about the human body and the anatomy and physiology program at OSU and they were able to have those inquiries addressed by Dr. Devon Quick and her pre-health student teaching interns Bryce, Junior, and Amanda. Noah Stephens, a student from Roseburg High School, said that he gained "A more important understanding of the human body and what it takes to be someone that helps people."  He shared that this experience impacted him because "It just interested me more (in a healthcare career) because of all the things I can learn about the human body."    

During the second part of the trip students were able to meet with pre-health students to learn more about their experiences, this included two pre-dental students (Maria and Eric), and one pre-medical student (Kristin). The students had the opportunity to hear about how the pre-health students got to where they are now, what they are currently doing at OSU, and what they plan to do after they graduate. The pre-health students advised our students on what they would have done differently if they had the chance to do it all over again. Taylor Kuntz, a student from Sutherlin High School, said that the presentation provided her with, "A better understanding of what college is like and it really made me realize that this is what I want to get into. The best part of the presentation was the teacher. She was so helpful and willing to share." While Reena Daly, a student from Roseburg High School, shared some tips that she picked up from the student presentation! She noted that she "Learned a lot about college and how to start off successful by visiting teachers during office hours."

Overall the students had a wonderful experience visiting the OSU campus. Emily Do, a student from Roseburg High School, said "It reinforces my choice to pursue a career as a surgical physician's assistant. The human body is fascinating." AHECSW would like to thank the OSU faculty and students for taking the time to inspire our students and encourage them to pursue the education they will need to be successful as future healthcare providers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AHECSW ReConnects Post-Secondary Students to Rural Communities

 Thursday, January 14, 2016

AHECSW checked in with our college interns that are participating in our ReConnect program to review their experiences working in a rural community and mentoring high school students.

When reflecting on the role that Duval plays with the program and what he has learned from his experience in his role he shared, "I play a very personal yet professional role with the students in the Bright Works Oregon Healthcare Team Program. As a Pre-Health Advisor, I have to know these students on a personal level and learn a lot about their goals in life to do my job effectively. I am only able to provide guidance and make helpful suggestions to the students when I know what area of healthcare they want to go into and why they want to pursue that area specifically. I also play a much more professional role with students in the program. In order to effectively teach the professional skills that the students need to learn, I have to play the role of an authority figure so that they realize the importance of what I am teaching." 

The experience hasn't only exposed Short and Duval to the clinical side of healthcare in a rural community, but they have been able to connect to the investment that a community must make in their own students. They have been able to witness the altruistic spirit that many local professionals demonstrate through the time they donate to the programs. Short shared his insights on what he has witnessed and learned through his role," Our rural community is entirely dependent upon its own healthcare professionals. The services available in Douglas County and surrounding areas depend upon the available healthcare workforce. If the rural community needs more or different services it is upon that community to establish the necessary services. Obviously a community is dependent upon its healthcare system but a successful community will have a healthcare system that is entrenched in the community. In other words, the healthcare workforce must be invested in its community. Our rural healthcare system has that -- it exists outside of the hospital. Our healthcare professionals are uniquely invested in the welfare of their community. I say this from a personal level, for I have had the privilege to work alongside many of them as they volunteered their time to give presentations, lead dissections, and mentor young students in our community."

When we asked Short and Duval how these experiences were shaping their potential future career pathway and what value they saw in the programs aiding in filling our local rural healthcare workforce pipeline they provided our staff with valuable feedback. Short stated that, " These experiences have reaffirmed my desire to work in the fields of healthcare or public health. The amount of community investment that I have seen from the various healthcare professionals that work with Bright Works Oregon and AHEC points to a level of altruism that I would like to attain! This level of investment has shown me that single individuals can create impactful change within rural communities.The ability to work with my community and its healthcare system have allowed me to appreciate the importance of rural healthcare and its fragility. Communities without proper healthcare or healthcare access will clearly suffer and rural communities continuously show an increasing need for healthcare professionals. Therefore, the rural health pipeline must be filled in order to maintain healthy and successful rural communities."   Duval reinforced Short's sentiments on the impacts of the program and the increased knowledge he has gained by participating in this program by saying, "I feel that the need to fill the rural health pipeline is of great importance. If I did not feel this way, then I would not be planning on working as a healthcare professional in a rural area myself. Rural communities unfortunately sometimes have some of the worst statistics relating to their overall health.If we are to better these types of statistics in rural communities, the deficit of healthcare workers in these areas must be eliminated. With an ever-growing human population, the overall health of these communities is only going to continue to dwindle if changes are not made. Filling the rural health pipeline is imperative to improving the health of communities across Oregon, a mission I personally plan on continuing to aid in the future."

AHECSW feels honored to have these two remarkable young men as our first ReConnect students. We have been able to see the positive impact that they have had on the community and with the students. We hope to continue to support them and offer them resources as they continue working towards their future careers in healthcare field. 

 

AHECSW: Talking Health with Architrave

 Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The AHECSW staff members, Chris Guastaferro and Rose Zoellner, recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dan Bain from Architrave Health LLC to discuss AHECSW programs and projects in Douglas County. To listen to the interview visit: http://podcast.541radio.com/roprt3/4830609.mp3

 

 

 

AHECSW HSHIP Fall 2015

 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