LYNDON -- Twenty-five middle school students from Caledonia County spent the day June 3 learning about career opportunities in health care. The Northeastern Vermont Area Health Education Center (AHEC) has partnered with Lyndon Institute to offer a day long program called MedStars Health Careers Tech Ed Day. Students attending were from Lyndon Town, Danville, Thaddeus Stevens, Good Shepherd and Riverside schools.
MedStars combines hands-on science activities with health career exploration. Students started their day by learning about infection control and how to prevention the spread of germs. Derek Murphy from Northeastern Kingdom Youth Services talked about healthy brains and healthy mental health strategies for teens. Donna Morris from Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital spoke about her career in infection control. Students learned how Physical Therapist Ben McCormick keeps patients moving. Students also learned about online sites to explore different health careers from Marti Kingsley, Outreach Counselor with the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation.
Health care occupations are among the fastest growing in Vermont. Jobs in health care provide competitive wages and benefits. The health care sector is an important part of Vermont's rural economy. Shortages of health professionals at all levels are expected to increase in the coming decade and beyond. Vermont students who go into health care careers are more likely to practice in Vermont than students from other states, helping to meet the need for qualified health practitioners.
Laura Remick, Health Careers Program manager at AHEC said "We are excited to partner with Kathy Schnepf, Allied Health coordinator at Lyndon Institute, to offer this program and have so many students from the area interested in health care careers."
AHEC's Health Career coordinator, Kim O'Connor said "When the middle school students become interested in a healthcare career, they prepare by selecting more science and math courses throughout high school."
This opportunity was made possible by the Northeastern Vermont AHEC and funded by the Health Careers Opportunity Program through the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). For more information about projects and programs of the Northeastern Vermont AHEC, please visit the website: nevahec.org.