The goal of KC HealthTracks is to increase the number of local high school students matriculating to health professions programs in higher education in order to grow a skilled, diverse workforce prepared to positively impact the healthcare and biosecurity industries. Twenty promising students who were enrolled last year in Project Lead the Way (PLTW) biomedical sciences courses at their respective high schools participated in the inaugural summer camp June 6-10 at the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies.
Just a few of the experiences during the camp itinerary: making dental molds at the School of Dentistry and creating anti-itch cream at the School of Pharmacy; reviewing X-rays and scans at the School of Medicine; participating in learning to take vital signs and working in the simulation labs with patient situations at the School of Nursing and Health Studies, presentations at the Kansas City Public Health Department; auxiliary health professions at Rockhurst University and a tour of the “Body Worlds” exhibit at Union Station.
“This initiative is unprecedented as an upstream solution, providing workforce preparation through exposure, academics, advising and social support that begins in high school and continues through college,” said Ronda Manney, RN, MSN, (Ed.D., ’15), camp director and clinical assistant instructor at the School of Nursing and Health Studies.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health National Workforce Diversity Pipeline awarded a $2.5 million grant to the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies to direct KC HealthTracks. Partners include KC STEM Alliance, Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley, Project Lead the Way, West Central Missouri AHEC (Area Health Education Center), Missouri HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) and the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium. The project will be available in Kansas City during a five-year period.