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Summer Camp: Mentoring our Youth

Since 2014, the Southeast Alabama Area Health Education Center (SEAAHEC) has educated over 4,000 high school students in 15 counties through 184 health-care career programs and workshops geared toward mentoring youth who are interested in medicine as a career choice. From a variety of topics such as Health Careers 101 or ACT Prep presentations in health-science classes and career-tech centers to intense summer enrichment programs at Upward Bound, Troy University and Tuskegee University and Boys & Girls Club, Pike County in 2015, Camp MDme in 2016, and Discovery MedCamp in 2017, the Center staff has created an evolving, mentor pipeline for the regional medical community.

Pike County Boys & Girls Club students tour the Troy Regional Medical Center lab

Pike County Boys & Girls Club students tour the Troy Regional Medical Center lab

The SEAAHEC health-care, career program is designed to raise awareness among high-school students about the wide variety of health-care careers available, the education required, and entry-level salaries in order to help students make informed and realistic choices about life after graduation. Many students come into the program with an interest in one discipline and often change their minds after working closely with faculty and graduate level students in another discipline.

The Center adopted a successful, residential format for the summer enrichment program in 2017 and in 2018, we’ve added an activity component for campers to have fun after an intense, eight-hour day of instruction. Discovery MedCamp 2018 will be hosted at Camp Butter & Eggs - a 48-acre adventure camp in centrally located Pike County from June 3-8, 2018.

The summer program will accommodate up to 25 high-school students who have completed 10th-12th grade, who meet application requirements, and who apply online @ by April 6, 2018. An external screening committee will review all applications and submit recommendations for acceptance.

Camp MDme 2016 at UAB School of Dentistry

The camp schedule will feature a variety of two-year and four-year, post-secondary disciplines: medical assisting, radiology technician, emergency medical science, respiratory therapy, nursing (all levels), hearing and speech, medical laboratory, physical therapy, occupational therapy, prosthetics, pharmacy, osteopathic medicine, and athletic training from six regional colleges and universities and various community partners.

As the Discovery MedCamp students matriculate into health professions and graduate as providers, the SEAAHEC anticipates greater access to health care in our rural and underserved communities in Southeast Alabama. With greater access to quality health care and more rural providers, the return on investment will likely give rise to an overall healthier Alabama!

Discovery MedCamp 2017 at Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn University

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