Missouri Delta Medical Center and the Southeastern Missouri Area Health Education Center have teamed up to bring a one-day Missouri AHEC Science & Health Camp to the Sikeston area.
The M*A*S*H Summer Day Camp is scheduled for 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. July 27 at Missouri Delta Medical Center. This grant-funded camp is for students entering grades 9-12.
"Essentially it's to give high school students from the 9th grade through graduation the opportunity to be exposed to the health sciences," said Earl Sisk, vice president of professional services for MDMC.
While the event is free, interested students must complete an application form in advance which documents all items on the selection criteria -- which include having at least a 2.5 GPA -- and submit it no later than 5 p.m. July 24 along with a letter of recommendation from a non-relative.
As the camp is limited to 20 participants and applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis, Terri Finertie, health career coordinator for SEMO AHEC, recommended submitting applications as soon as possible. Those who are accepted will be notified by phone or e-mail.
Sisk said many aspire to be a doctor but there are many other opportunities in health care other than being a physician.
"This gives them the exposure to other areas of health care," Sisk said. "It opens up the field to show them what is available."
The camp's organizers will assemble a panel of health care experts including a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, dentist, radiologist, respiratory therapist and physical therapist.
"This group comes in and describes for them their roles in the care of the patient," Sisk said.
In addition to providing information on a variety of health care professions, "they actually get to do some hands-on activities so they can see what its going to be like in that career," Finertie said.
Sisk said these hands-on breakout sessions will include how to get vital signs, proper hand washing for infection control and maybe even a suturing clinic.
Organizers also hope to provide participants with a tour of an air or ground ambulance.
Students will rotate through each of the breakout clinics spending about 15-20 minutes at each, Sisk said.
Finertie explained there is a need for health care professionals in rural areas. The program's goal is to expose interested students early and to get them into a health care field "pipeline" as those from rural areas are more likely to return to those areas and practice their profession.
"It is really important to get students early on who show an interest in a health career," she said.
"It can have an impact on their early years of high school so they can work on their grades and be competitive, be ready for the college years ahead of them," Sisk said.
Finertie said there are seven AHECs around the state.
"Each one puts on M*A*S*H camps in their region," she said, adding that SEMO AHEC is also planning a camp in Kennett later this year.
"We couldn't do this without the hospitals," Finertie said. "We're very grateful to Missouri Delta for partnering with us."
Funding for the camp is provided by the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine which uses grant support from the Missouri Foundation for Health in St. Louis.
Applications can be obtained by e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org or be calling 573-785-2444 ext. 2.
Applications are to be submitted to SEMO AHEC, Attn. Terri Finertie, 2725 No. Westwood Blvd., Ste. 16, Poplar Bluff, Mo. 63901 or by e-mail to email@example.com.