Contact: Meredith Lair
Does a health care provider shortage only apply to a need for doctors? We all know there continues to be a scarcity in the number of physicians available around the United States, especially in rural communities like those that make up the entire eastern Oregon region. However, as medical communities continue to address access issues and adapt to the ever-changing healthcare system a long list of shortages in other health occupations have come to light.
Northeast Oregon Area Health Education Center (NEOAHEC) recently partnered with La Grande High School on their Career and Technical Education (CTE) Revitalization grant to look at medical pathways available to high school students that will develop their work readiness skills or provide them with a certification empowering them to enter the workforce one step ahead.
Our commitment to the La Grande High School CTE Revitalization Grant project is to:
- Provide access to extend learning for high school students in NEOAHEC’s Future Health Professionals of Oregon (FHPO) online health occupations course offered for two general science college credits through Eastern Oregon University.
- Provide immersive job shadowing experiences for high school students to extend learning through NEOAHEC’s weeklong residential health career exploration camp, MedQuest.
- Work with Grande Ronde Hospital and La Grande High School to develop a Medical Assistant training course to fill immediate needs within the local medical community.
- Partner with healthcare pathway instructor and CTE coordinator at La Grande High School to create a pipeline to track and encourage students interested in a healthcare career.
Collectively, our goal is to develop a pathway that is broad and challenges students to explore a wide-range of career fields through both quality, science-based curriculum, simulation technology, and community partnerships that provide students multiple opportunities over their four years to job shadow/intern and explore various medical occupations.
Value added to this project is the construction LHS is doing on their campus of a CTE building that will house various programs from simulation and telecommunciations equipment for the medical pathway to welding and agriculture. This center will be open for workforce retraining and adult education in the evenings.
“We will be working across county boundaries to make training and certification programs available through on-site instruction and streaming of available curriculum,” said Bret Baxter, Principal at La Grande High School
“After assessing the needs of local medical communities and forming key partnerships, we are ready to mobilize our efforts,” says Meredith Lair NEOAHEC executive director.