ST GEORGE – Aimed at exposing students to the diverse options for careers in the ever-growing field of health care, the Southern Utah Area Health Education Center’s annual “Health Career Exploration Camp” hosted 80 high school students from across the state at Dixie State University June 18-20.
Students who attended ranged from incoming freshmen to recent high school graduates. Several were able to attend thanks to the sponsorship of local school districts, hospitals and Educational Talent Searches.
During the three-day event, students attended several hands-on workshops presented by a variety of community partners including the following:
- Dixie State University – in the fields of nursing, dental hygiene, surgical technology, physical therapy assisting, respiratory therapy, emergency medical services, medical laboratoray science, health education and athletic training.
- University of Utah – in the fields of physician assistant, medical, public health and pharmacy.
- Washington County School District – in the fields of physical therapy.
- Red Hills Animal Hospital – in the veterinary field.
The camp also included team-building activities, a health care quiz bowl, a trip to the Washington County Recreation Center and a special keynote speech from Dr. Eliezer Bermudez, dean of Dixie State’s College of Health Science.
Students from the St. George area who attended the Health Career Exploration Camp included Emily Dunford, Ashton Gardner and Kassidy Bundy from Enterprise High School; Aleah Jensen and Lincoln Hollingshead from Desert Hills High School; Kyle Parkinson from Pine View High School; Meg Myler from Utah Connections Academy; Carlos Hernandez, Carlitos Estrada, Emilio Estrada, Elijah Barnum, Keoni Sloan and Naomi Slant from Dixie High and Middle schools; and Brooklyn Hafen and Yrene Heinze from Dixie State’s Success Academy.
A group of current rural health scholar students from Dixie State and Southern Utah University served as counselors leading the participants during the camp.
Mariah Richins, a senior at Dixie State and member of Rural Health Scholars, participated as a counselor. Richins attended the camp when she was in high school and is now in the process of applying to medical school.
“Health Camp is a valuable experience,” Richins said, “because it exposes students to different career options and prepares them to make decisions as they enter college. It is great to see the students grow throughout the week and consider new pathways and career options within health care.”
Southern Utah AHEC program coordinator Kasey Shakespear said the camp is something staff members look forward to each year.had the following to say about the camp:
“It is an opportunity to bring together so many wonderful partners throughout the state to benefit the youth of Utah, and to learn more about the ever-changing field of health care,” Shakespear said. “It’s always a fun and engaging event, full of energy and excitement.”
Following the three-day camp, 29 students remained to attend the first extended camp, “A Day in the Life of a Medical Student,” which was co-hosted by Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine. During the additional day, students took part in discussions about osteopathic medicine and the path to medical school, a manipulative medicine demonstration, an anatomy activity and an ultrasound activity, as well as taking a campus tour.
Rocky Vista University was an amazing host for this activity, the Utach Center for Rural Health stated in its news release, and the hospitality of its staff certainly made an impression on these young aspiring physicians.
Southern Utah AHEC’s thanked those who participated, including Dixie State, noting in the press release that the university’s staff and facility made the event possible.
The Southern Utah AHEC office anticipates holding both the Health Career Exploration Camp and the extended camp at Rocky Vista University again in 2019. For more information about the camp, please contact Kasey Shakespear by emailing Kasey.firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning 435-897-4362.