As the summer winds down and students prepare to go back to school, let’s take a look at some of the fun events from HAPI Summer 2013!
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
Public Health Symposium
The HAPI project provides a great avenue for college students to learn about health career choices at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. However, HAPI would not exist if it were not for the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program, abbreviated as NC AHEC. Mrs. Jacqueline Wynn shares with us her role within NC AHEC and how it supports projects like HAPI.
Mrs. Wynn has worked for NC AHEC in various capacities for the past 29 years. After graduation from college, she started as a Program Assistant at Wake AHEC and now serves as Associate Director for the statewide NC AHEC Program. She has also served as the President of the National Association of Medical Minority Educators Incorporated. One of her goals is to improve workforce diversity in health professions. One of her passions and missions is to expose and better equip minority students to opportunities and pathways in healthcare; hence increasing diversity among health professionals. About 20 years ago, Mrs. Wynn a statewide health careers infrastructure with core goals and designed programs in each AHEC that would promote the overall goal of increasing health professions’ diversity. With current projects like HAPI and the work of the nine AHECs and the AHEC Office at Duke, she is continuously impressed and amazed at the high quality programs and services that come from the AHEC Program and partners.
NC AHEC’s goal is to create a continuum of support for students. Most of AHEC’s regional in health careers and workforce diversity is targeted at a pre-college audience, providing age appropriate information about various opportunities in the healthcare industry. A federal HRSA grant, supports many of the AHEC’s activities in this area as well as the HAPI Program . Ms. Wynn has been grateful for the continuous support of the NC AHEC Program Director, Dr. Thomas Bacon, Executive Associate Dean and Program Director of NC AHEC, who recently retired from the NC AHEC Program. Ms. Wynn is hopeful that the new AHEC Program Director will embrace and support the very important work of health careers and workforce diversity and the impact that this work has across the state on underrepresented individuals interested in healthcare professions. Although it can take a long time for a young person to become a health professional if they start in our healthcare programs, we are now beginning to see more and more successes. These individuals are often invited back to AHEC Programs to discuss/share their experiences and the importance that AHC had on their career choices.
Mrs. Wynn would like for the new leadership to embrace the work of NC AHEC and its activities. She hopes existing programs and partnerships are sustained and will grow; while possibly allowing new initiatives to arise. The quality of AHEC’s programs impacts the lives of students and influences their career choices. Along with AHEC, the HAPI partners are committed to helping students succeed. The partners lend their expertise to students interested in health professions by advising or directing them to their ultimate goal.
Mrs. Wynn coordinates with Brenda Mitchell, Associate Chair for Student Services and AHEC Operations, and the UNC Department of Allied Health Sciences to provide college students exposure, experience, and enrichment. Other partners include professionals from all health schools at UNC. This summer, HAPI projects included several events including the Skit and Career Speed Dating for Summer Bridge students, as well as the Diversity Recruitment Fair for McNair Scholars and students of the Carolina Advising Corp. HAPI partners consistently receive warm responses, from students and colleagues, about the effectiveness of HAPI’s activities.
AHEC also provides graduate students and professionals the ability to expand learning beyond the classroom through internships and clinical experiences. When a student is enrolled in a health professions program at UNC-CH, AHEC can also assist them with housing. Additionally, individuals practicing across the state, including rural AHECs can participate in continuing education, access current library resources (ADL), as well as AHECs partnership with the academic medical centers to provide (i.e. one-day clinics) in areas that do not support a specialist in the area. For more information about AHEC, please visit their website: http://www.ncahec.net/
On July 16th and 17th , in the UNC School of Social Work, Sharon Thomas led HAPI’s Diversity Recruitment Events for two groups of students. The McNair Scholars and Carolina Advising Corp Students got a chance to hear about the different health schools at UNC. Representatives from Allied Health, Social Work, Public Health, Medicine, Pharmacy, and NC-HCAP presented vital information to the students about their respective programs and the many opportunities within their studies. The “working lunch” (provided by Jason’s Deli) provided a relaxed atmosphere where students were receptive to the information and appreciative for the presentation.
On Friday, June 21st, the S.E.P. and M.E.D. scholars at UNC had an opportunity to watch a documentary entitled Hole in the Head: A Life Revealed. The filmmaker, and author of the book with the same title, Dr. Wilbert Smith, attended the viewing as well. He spoke about his journey, which started in 2006, with Vertus Hardiman and how he was inspired to make the film and book. Hardiman was one of ten students who were irradiated in 1927, receiving over 35,000 times the amount of radiation recommended, at a Sanatorium in Lyles Station, Indiana. At the age of 85, he chose to share his story with Dr. Smith and share a painful secret. Smith and Hardiman documented the last two years of Mr. Vertus Hardiman’s life as the effects of radiation continued to haunt him. The radiation caused the deterioration of Hardiman’s head and skull. Cancer, caused by the radiation, was the ultimate cause of his death, but the radiation triggered burning and constant pain for Hardiman. The encouraging story of forgiveness and love shines through the documentary.
For more information or to order the story visit : http://www.holeinthehead.com
During the weekend of Friday June 7th through Sunday June 9th, the partners of HAPI were busy spreading the word about Heath Careers! Throughout the entire weekend, a Public Heath Symposium for High School Students was headed by Trinnette Cooper. Twenty students from all over North Carolina stayed on the campus of UNC to learn about Public Health through lectures and activities. The event culminated with the students presenting what they learned from their research on specific topics. The Symposium is an annual event we hope to continue to provide for years to come!
Also on Saturday, June 8th, S.E.P students and Public Health Scholars volunteered at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The participants’ transitioned to their pre-assigned race locations. Truly the event was an eye opening experience for the students and they took away a lot with regard to learning about Breast Cancer, celebrating the women/men that are in remission and remembering those that we have lost. Trinnette Cooper, Paula Borden, Brenda Mitchell, and Chanel Blaylock are partners of HAPI who aided in the events’ success.
On May 29th, 2013 students in the Science Enrichment Preparation Program (SEP) at UNC participated in a workshop where they learned about disciplines in Allied Health. Representatives from the Department of Allied Health Services came to speak to the students about their respective fields. The divisions of Allied Heath at UNC are: Clinical Laboratory Science, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Radiologic Science, Speech and Hearing Science, and Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology. SEP students actively listened to the presentations and answered questions about them to win prizes. Shadowing opportunities will be available for students to observe the careers in which they are interested. The afternoon was great and the Health Careers Partnership Initiative plans to provide more opportunities resembling this workshop.