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Healthcare Careers Immersion in Havana

Havana High School sophomore, junior and senior students have the opportunity to explore a wide array of critical health careers through a new program being implemented for the 2016-2017 school year. The program is called Havana Health Career Opportunities and it was developed and made possible by the Mason District Hospital in partnership with University of Illinois Extension, Havana High School, City of Havana, SIU School of Medicine, UI College of Medicine Peoria, Spoon River College and support of the Greater Peoria EDC.
Havana Health Career Opportunities allows students to be exposed to health careers at a local and regional level through a series of planned events. The events take place on school improvement days, evenings and school holidays throughout the entire school year and activities incorporate job shadowing, networking, soft skills and an introduction to professional credentials required for positions. The program is focused on encouraging the student’s entry into the health career pipeline and addressing the needs of our communities.
The first session for the program occurred on September 27th, 2016 and the remaining session dates are set for once a month through the end of the school year. Students in the program will be traveling to health care settings in Canton, Peoria and Springfield to show the critical roles in both regional and rural health care. The programming is designed to “connect the dots” between school and career.
Health care today and into the future presents tremendous employment opportunities. In fact, there are projections that health care jobs are anticipated to grow at a rate of 2.6% between 2012 and 2022. By introducing high school students to critical career opportunities early on, they are able to map out personal educational goals.   Setting the stage for achieving necessary credentials required for health careers, a field with growing job opportunities.
In addition to all of the great healthcare recruitment and retention this program provides to students, the focus on soft skill development is valuable to everyone within the program, even if they decide not to go into a career related to health care.
“We are looking to show students the importance of networking, showing them how to talk to and build relationships with professionals and also boosting their confidence,” says Kathie Brown, Extension Educator at University of Illinois Extension. “The skills they are learning will help them with college entrance. We are filling out sample job applications, working on elevator speeches and resume writing.”
If you have any questions, or need any additional information, please call or email either
Kathie Brown, University of Illinois Extension at:
309-255-9189 and brownlk@illinois.edu or
Laura Kessel, SIU School of Medicine at:
309-543-2199 and lkessel21@siumed.edu
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