(left to right): Program Educator Rae Lindsey, Stephanie McGuffee, Macey Roark, Naomi Reeder, Brittany Ray, Quinn Riley, and Program Supervisor Jennifer Mason
Central Louisiana Area Health Education Center (Central LA AHEC) collaborated with LaSalle General Hospital, and LaSalle Parish School Board to bring the “A-HEC of a Summer” program to students in the area. This was the eleventh year that the program has been made possible for students at LaSalle General Hospital. The program is an excellent tool by which students can explore different health care professions and make decisions about their future based on experience and observation. Students volunteered their time for fifteen days in the summer at LaSalle General Hospital.
“A-HEC of a Summer” participants were high school students who have a career interest in the medical profession. The program provided students with the opportunity to participate in health related volunteer work and the freedom to explore career interests in the various fields that comprise the world of health careers.
Students rotated through various departments in the hospital to gain hands-on experiences so they could determine for themselves whether or not a health career is a good choice for their future. They were able to obtain knowledge and experience from healthcare mentors, field trips, workshops and guest lecturers. The program supervisor at LaSalle General Hospital was Jennifer Mason and the program educator was Rae Lindsey.
The 2012 program participants at LaSalle General Hospital were Stephanie McGuffee, Brittany Ray, Naomi Reeder, Quinn Riley, and Macey Roark from Jena High School. Students were chosen on the basis of grades, a written essay, letters of recommendation and an interview. “A-HEC of a Summer” is an accredited high school course for one-half unit elective credit.
Central Louisiana AHEC is a non-profit, community-based agency that serves as a training and information resource for health and education professionals for a 17-parish region. A primary goal of Central Louisiana AHEC is to identify local needs and develop programs that will encourage health professionals to practice in rural and underserved communities where their services are urgently needed. Gabrielle Juneau, program coordinator, states that “this program is an excellent tool for students to enhance their understanding and get hands-on experience in different healthcare fields.”
Applications for next year’s “A-HEC of a Summer” will be available in September on Central Louisiana AHEC’s website at www.clahec.org, or by contacting the guidance counselors office at your high school this fall.