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HealthForce hopes to inspire students to pursue careers in health care

HealthForce One, a mobile technology center through the HealthForce Kentucky Program, was available for students to explore at the Winter Community Pep Rally on the HCMS/HCHS Campus Monday, November 27th.

The mobile center offers simulations for a hands-on experience with real feature cadavers, 3D anatomy and more.

HealthForce Kentucky was created to inspire students to pursue careers in health care. The 40,000-square-feet center in Owensboro houses classrooms, simulation labs and a medical lab with the latest technology, and will be available to all participating schools to provide high-level instruction.

HCHS Allied Health & Science Teacher Tiffany Carnes, BSN, RN, and her students will have the opportunity to participate in clinical simulations in the lab.

Students at Hancock County High School visited the HealthForce Kentucky Mobile Lab this week when the lab came to HCHS. Students will soon be able to get hands on learning when they participate in clinical simulations.

Pictured from left: Leigh Ann Tipton, Healthcare Pathway Specialist with HealthForce Kentucky, Abi Decker, Abigail Potts, Carolina Jones, Ansley House, Audrey Carnes and Laney Craighead.

The traveling unit sets up at schools in Western Kentucky and offers students and faculty an opportunity to experience the top levels of technology and instruction. Healthcare Specialist with HealthForce Kentucky Leigh Ann Tipton explained, “This mobile unit is a partnership between 9 regional universities and community colleges.

We also receive funding from the state, and we have some healthcare partners. We were invited to participate in the Community Pep Rally to showcase what we have.

Shortage of Healthcare Workers

There is a shortage of healthcare workers so in trying to problem-solve, Rep. Suzanne Miles and others put together a plan to help create more of a pipeline for students interested in the healthcare field.

One of the ways we’re helping with that is to bring some of this technology to students across the 16-county region, in high schools, at the universities and community colleges that we serve because for any one of them to try to get this technology on their own it would cost a large amount of money.

So all of the universities, community colleges, KCTCS (KY Community & Technical College System) and the state have pulled resources to purchase this high-tech simulation lab and bring it to students.”

Simulation Director with HealthForce Kentucky Bruce Williams said, “We are able to share a lot of valuable resources to where 16 individual organizations wouldn’t be able to afford it all, but we are spreading it around and able to share it with those that can use it intensely for really dedicated periods of time.”

Traveling to Schools Brings Awareness

Williams added that traveling to schools brings awareness to the new legislatively-funded project, and enables faculty and instructors to see what resources they have at their disposal for their students.

Chancellor of HealthForce Kentucky Bart Darrell encourages everyone who is interested in training as a health care professional, whether you are a high school or college student.

Additionally, if you’re in the workforce and think you’d like to transition into something more rewarding, contact your local school district or your local post-secondary education institution and tell them that you would like to be part of HealthForce Kentucky.

HealthForce Kentucky is located at 2511 Frederica Street in Owensboro. Visit the website to learn more at: healthforcekentucky.org.

By Jennifer Wimmer

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