ASHEVILLE – Cherokee High School’s Allied Health Science Classes attended the 12th Annual Health Careers Education Awareness Conference on Oct. 11. The Conference was held at UNC-Asheville in the Wilma Sherrill Wellness Center. MAHEC’s Department of Health Careers and Diversity Education and the WNC Regional Advisory Committee, which Mrs. Hess is a member, hosted the conference. The focus of this conference is to develop a coordinated effort to heighten knowledge and exposure of health careers and workforce diversity in the region.
The conference objectives were to: 1) improve awareness and understanding of health career opportunities for high school students, 2) increase personal health awareness through screening opportunities and education,, 3) increase the number of minorities and economically disadvantaged populations that choose healthcare training programs and, ultimately, healthcare occupations and, 4) develop a coordinated regional network of health occupation teachers and other public, private and home school persons.
The theme of the conference was “Navigating Your Journey to a Health Career.” Teck Penland, President and CEO of MAHEC, Jacquelyn Hallum, Director of Health Careers and Diversity Education, MAHEC welcomed and gave an overview of the Conference.
The Honorable Terry M. Bellamy, Mayor of the City of Asheville, spoke to the students concerning the importance of their education. Concurrent sessions followed and the students attended sessions in: Financial Aid, Laura Misner, College Foundation of North Carolina; “Are you Fit to be an American Idol?”, Meg Hanshaw, Wellness Consultant; Health Careers Success: Planning and Preparation, Ned Fowler, Associate V.P. Instructor, AB-Tech Community College; Diversity in Healthcare, Brandy Mills, Nurse Educator, Mission Hospitals; “Obstacles to Avoid On Your Journey”, Community Panelist: Katherine Cross, “Our Voice”, Carlos Vargas, “Youth OU Tright”, Capt. Tim Splain, Asheville Police Department, Christopher S. Hess, Assistant District Attorney, Buncombe County DA’s Office, and Michelle Lemell, Asheville City Schools Safe &Drug Free Schools.
Following the sessions, the students attended an Interactive Career Fair where over 60-65 different health careers were represented with display booths, information, and tools of the trade.
– Cherokee Central Schools