LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Regional Campuses will host a statewide virtual summer enrichment program for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors interested in learning more about careers in health care.

Registration for the UAMS “Find Your Future in Health Care” virtual program is open to all Arkansas high school students in grades 10-12 and ends April 2. Registration is available at regionalcampuses.uams.edu/find-your-future-in-healthcare or by contacting Yalanda Merrell at yyoung@uams.edu.

“We want students in every corner of the state to learn more about careers in the medical field and where the needs are right here in Arkansas,” said Merrell, a recruiting specialist at the UAMS Northeast Regional Campus in Jonesboro. “Our goal is to recruit, educate and train a diverse group of students for the future for a better state of health.”

The three-day program will be offered twice, June 29-July 1 and July 13-15, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day. Participants will not only get to meet and learn from professionals across a variety of careers in health care, but they’ll also get to take virtual tours through medical facilities and engage in interactive, hands-on activities. The program will provide all participants with a registration kit that includes the supplies needed.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant barriers for our recruitment specialists, who have been unable to conduct their usual face-to-face activities such as A Day in the Life, Community Health Applied in Medical Public Service (CHAMPS), Medical Applications of Science for Health (M*A*S*H), and many other programs targeting young Arkansans, each of which help ensure a continuous, robust health care workforce,” said Marcia Byers, Ph.D., RN, program director. “The Find Your Future in Health Care events demonstrate our continued dedication to this mission and are the first of many activities that will be offered virtually, or through hybrid approaches, moving forward.”

“We want to reach students in a safe and effective way, so this program was created to allow students every opportunity to explore, experience and be educated about what a future in health care might be like,” added Merrell.

While part of the goal is to promote primary care, especially for rural and underserved areas, the program also seeks to introduce students to the idea of team-based care and to show them the variety of career options available in the field of health care.

“Certainly, Arkansas needs more primary care providers, and we want to encourage that, but there are many other specialties in medicine – and doctors never work alone in providing care. We want students to learn more about the many options available to them in this field,” said Merrell.

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