MedWest supports local high school students interested in healthcare careers with mentor opportunities and scholarships
Sylva, Clyde and Bryson City, N.C. –MedWest Health System is working actively to encourage young people to consider training for and joining the healthcare workforce by providing various observation or internship experiences and college scholarships.
This past spring semester, 19 Smoky Mountain High School students took part in the Mentor Program at MedWest-Harris. For seven weeks, students were paired with mentors in departments throughout the hospital and at two medical offices.
“This was my fourth year working with these students,” MedWest Health System Employment Manager Eric Cochran said. “It has been a joy to see these young folks get so excited and involved with our staff. Our staff has given a lot of their time investing in the future of our healthcare workforce, and they should be commended for their efforts.”
At the end of the mentor experience, each student is evaluated by a member of the MedWest team.
Participating student Emily Ashe was mentored by H. Charles Hodges, assistant to the pathologist. In his evaluation of her, Hodges wrote, “This student has the qualities needed to be successful: curiosity, ability to listen, attention to detail and a well-developed confidence required to try something new. I am very proud to have had the opportunity to contribute to her education.”
The students had the chance to meet and share feedback regarding the mentor program. During that session, they shared appreciation for what they were able to experience and also for what they learned about health and taking care of themselves.
“The hospital staff provided myself and 18 fellow classmates an experience we could not have had in the classroom,” said Stephanie Londo, who is now a rising senior at Smoky Mountain High School. “Aside from information about anatomy and procedure, the employees in the operating room taught me hard work, patience and precision by example. I’ve been so fortunate to have this opportunity, and I owe many thanks to the surgical team at MedWest-Harris.”
MedWest Health System also has accommodated other high school students throughout the year: 19 Smoky Mountain High School students in the fall semester at MedWest-Harris, eight students from Cherokee High School in the spring semester at MedWest-Harris, 15 students from Swain County High School at MedWest-Harris and MedWest-Swain, and 20 students from Tuscola High School at MedWest-Haywood.
MedWest Health System Employment Manager Eric Cochran also presented college scholarships funded by MedWest to Smoky Mountain High School students Emily Ashe, Ashlin Beck and Niki Duff at the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA)/Health Occupations Banquet this spring in the cafeteria at Smoky Mountain High School.
MedWest also awarded scholarships this spring to Patti Clark and Brittany Shuler, two graduating seniors from Swain County High School.
These scholarships were given to students going to college for various healthcare careers and who already have shown commitment and involvement in healthcare opportunities in school and the community.
MedWest Health System provides healthcare for the people of western North Carolina at MedWest-Harris, MedWest-Haywood and MedWest-Swain hospitals, the outpatient facility MedWest-Franklin, and through the 100-member MedWest Physician Network. MedWest is affiliated with Carolinas HealthCare System.