Consortium to select students for health occupations program

Posted: Sunday, March 22, 2009

SITKA - Alaska Native high school students from Southeast Alaska will be able to witness real emergency room doctors in action and other opportunities when they participate in the Ethel Lund Village Health Occupations Program.

Each year, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium selects a minimum of 12 students interested in the health field for the program, and they visit Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka to learn about different health careers and educational requirements. Positions in these fields usually offer good pay and employee benefits, as well as the satisfaction of helping others.

This year's VHOP session is scheduled for April 20-24, with travel dates being April 19 and 25. Students who are selected to participate receive assistance to cover the travel costs to and from Sitka, housing, meals and some evening entertainment.

"The goal of the program is to expose Native students from rural Southeast communities to a vast array of health career opportunities," SEARHC Tribal Recruitment Coordinator Romee McAdams said. "Students will 'job shadow' with doctors, nurses, x-ray technicians and many other health professionals." The experience enables students to evaluate their own strengths and decide which jobs might best suit them.

The application deadline is Monday, March 23. Application packets should include five items: SEARHC volunteer application form; letter of recommendation from school superintendent, principal, counselor or teacher; student essay; agreement of conduct (signed by participant and parent); and student profile.

Completed applications may be faxed to 907-966-8527 or mailed to Romee McAdams at SEARHC, c/o Human Resources Department, 222 Tongass Drive, Sitka, AK 99835. Because space is limited, interested students should apply early. Applications are available at high school offices, at local village corporations or by going to

VHOP is sponsored by SEARHC, Sitka Tribe of Alaska and the Alaska Area Health Education Center program at the Alaska Center for Rural Health. VHOP stresses hands-on experience and job shadowing as ways to immerse students in the health care environment at the SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital. For more information, contact Romee McAdams at 907-966-8476 or by e-mail at

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