Parents’ Role in Guiding Children to Choose Careers

CLAHEC Provides Tools for Parents and Educators to Encourage High School Students to Investigate Health Careers

High school students today have many tools and resources available to them to explore different career path possibilities. Parents can be instrumental in guiding children to research possibilities while they are in high school to prevent wasting time and money on career exploration after they start the college years. According to the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, health care is forecasted to remain a large source of job growth in the labor market for many years. Louisiana has a great need for qualified, certified health care workers. CLAHEC addresses this need by encouraging students to research health careers, providing opportunities for students to get exposure and experience with different fields of medicine, and providing tools for encouraging health careers in the school environment. Tools include a web-based health careers directory, that enables students, parents, and educators to access information about health careers such as job descriptions, educational requirements, demand, salaries, colleges with programs and links to financial aid and scholarship information. Informational packet mailings are sent to schools in late August that also include copies of program applications. Presentations are scheduled in schools to present current facts and statistics to students about health career possibilities and needs in Louisiana. CLAHEC collaborates with entities such as school boards, health care providers, hospitals, colleges, and more to provide program opportunities that enable students to gain experience and knowledge about different healthcare fields. This will enable students to make a more qualified decision about their futures. Programs offered this year for high school students include “AHEC of a Summer,” “A Day with the Doctors,” and “CI: Healthcare.”

“AHEC of a Summer” is a fifteen-day volunteer program available to 9th-11th grade students that will be held at local hospitals during the month of June. Participants rotate through different departments in hospitals and local medical facilities, job shadow practicing health care professionals, attend workshops, explore other facilities on field trips and much more. Students who complete the program will earn ½ high school elective credit. “A Day with the Doctors” is a one-day program available to 11th-12th grade students. It will be held in January 2014 and is designed for students who want to become physicians. Students are given the opportunity to spend a day at a medical school in Shreveport or New Orleans to explore the anatomy and pathology labs, to interact with medical students and faculty, to receive medical school admissions information and more. “CI:Healthcare” is a one-day program available to 11th-12th grade students. It will be held January 2014 and is designed for students who want to learn more about nursing and allied health fields of medicine. Students are able to investigate health careers and programs at Louisiana State University – Alexandria and Our Lady of the Lake College in Baton Rouge, to participate in highly technical activities in allied health departments, to interact with students and faculty, to receive admissions information and more. The application deadline for “AHEC of a Summer” is March 1, 2014. The application deadline for “A Day with the Doctors” and “CI:Healthcare” is November 18, 2013.

Educating Louisiana’s young people about choosing a career path is a team effort. Parents must encourage the students at home, and school systems must also broaden their thinking about future possibilities. CLAHEC is dedicated to being a part of that team as well. Gabrielle Juneau, program coordinator for the Alexandria office, is quoted as saying “If today’s high school students are educated now on the many opportunities and advantages that choosing a health career can offer, they are more likely to consider one of the many healthcare fields for their future.” More information about CLAHEC and programs offered can be accessed on our website Applications can be downloaded on the website or picked up from the high school guidance counselors.

CLAHEC Region Tar Wars Poster Contest Winners Win Top Prizes at State Contest

Austin Gremillion, a 5th grader from Avoyelles Public Charter School and winner of the CLAHEC Region Tar Wars Poster Contest, was named the 2012 Louisiana State-level Tar Wars Poster Contest winner on the steps of State Capitol at a ceremony that focused on the positive health effects of kids not smoking.

The winning posters were chosen from 50 top entries from around the state. In addition to Austin Gremillion, 2nd place was awarded to Madison Kelly, a 5th-grader from St. Mary’s Assumption School in Hessmer, LA. and 2nd place winner of the CLAHEC Region Tar Wars Poster Contest.

Tar Wars is a tobacco-free education program administered by the American Academy of Family Physicians that increases fourth- and fifth-grade students’ awareness of attitudes about tobacco use and the effects of tobacco on the body. With the majority of new smokers in the United States being teenagers, Tar Wars is designed to target children before they start smoking. The annual poster contest encourages children to create posters that emphasize the positive aspects of not using tobacco. Posters are judged on their artistry, creativity, originality and their ability to communicate a clear and positive message about being tobacco-free.

Austin and Madison will compete for the national title at the Tar Wars National Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference, sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians, is held each summer and celebrates youth, creativity, and being tobacco-free

CLAHEC receives NAO’s 2012 ‘AHEC Center of Excellence Award in Health Careers Student Recruitment’

Central LA AHEC is pleased to announce that it is the 2012 recipient of the National AHEC Organization’s ‘AHEC Center of Excellence Award in Health Careers Student Recruitment’ award for its ‘Day with the Doctors’ health careers program. As described in the excerpt of the awards letter below, the awards committe was impressed with the quality of the program and with CLAHEC’s ability to demonstrate its effectiveness. Thanks to Nan Ewing, Director of Health Careers Programs, for submitting ‘Day with the Doctors’ for consideration of this award.

As Co-Chairs of the NAO Awards Committee, we are pleased to inform you that the Central Louisiana AHEC has been selected to receive the 2012 AHEC Center of Excellence Award in Health Careers Student Recruitment for the project entitled “A Day with the Doctors”. The Awards Committee was very impressed with this project, including its content and program development, the number of community partners involved, and the way the program has been implemented for over a decade. The committee was particularly impressed with the outcomes data you have collected over the years and the capacity you have to show the impact of this program on the future careers of the students who have participated in it. It is clearly deserving of the AHEC Center of Excellence Award for Health Careers Student Recruitment.