UA’s Rural Health Scholars Program Reaches Hale County Youth
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — An outreach program launched in November through The University of Alabama’s Rural Health Scholars Program aims to encourage young people to examine careers in health care.
The Hale County Health Scholars Program selected 10 students in the 10th grade from across Hale County through an application process. Students were chosen based on academic record (at least a B average), volunteer activities, leadership skills, essays about their plans and a personal interview.
Once a month, the Health Scholars will participate in an activity related to health careers. Activities include field trips to health facilities; visits to farms to examine issues related to agromedicine; seminars with health professionals; and the opportunity to shadow a health professional in a rural area.
Program planners also want to help the participants develop skills that will help them become more competitive in applying to the UA Rural Health Scholars Program for rural 11th-grade students in 2012, and for college, medical school or other health-professional training programs.
The first activity for the Hale County Health Scholars will take place Thursday, Nov. 17, on National Rural Health Day. They will tour the facilities in Greensboro, including Whatley Health Clinic, Hale County Hospital and the Hospital Clinic.
The current Hale County Health Scholars are: Kiara Anderson, Moesha Gaitor and Zoshsha Hamilton from Greensboro High School; Bethany Lewis, Katelyn Price, Jackson Seale and Caleb Wyatt from Hale County High School; and Alexis Lewis, Gabrielle Owens and Shaquila Washington from Sunshine High School.
The Hale County Health Development Partnership, which helped plan and launch the Hale County Health Scholars Program, is designed to establish a local program of educational experiences for students, kindergarten to professional, that promotes local health-care careers.
“It is a collaboration that brings together local health-care entities, outreach programs and school officials, along with other resource institutions, to plan and activate programs that support health developments in Hale County,” said Melissa Cox, program director.
The partnership with Hale County includes The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences; Shelton State Community College; the Governor’s Rural Development Office; and the state Office of Rural Health.The Hale County Partnership is a focus of the West Alabama Rural Medical Care Alliance, a 13-county regional organization formed to address the region’s need for more primary care health professionals.
The College of Community Health Sciences operates a comprehensive, state-of-the-art medical clinic, University Medical Center, where College faculty members conduct their medical practices and where students and residents receive clinical experience and training.The College’s research component supports faculty and student research efforts, including clinical trials.The College is the Tuscaloosa branch campus of The University of Alabama School of Medicine, which has its headquarters in Birmingham.
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.