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HCOM, CHSP to team up with community partners to offer high school summer camps

Apr 18, 2017
Central Ohio high school students participate in simulated health care activities during the 2016 OU+REACH Camp.
Central Ohio high school students participate in simulated health care activities during the 2016 OU+REACH Camp. Photo courtesy of The Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine


The College of Health Sciences and Professions and the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, along with key community partners and Columbus State Community College, are now accepting applications for their summer health careers minicamps for Central Ohio high school students.

The OU+REACH (Ohio University Reimagining Educational Approaches to Careers in Health care) Discovery Series is an immersive health career exploration and education summer camp, designed to inspire high school students to consider the pathways and possibilities for a career in the field of health care.

Similarly, the Mini-Health Professions Academy seeks to expose younger high school students to the exciting varieties of health care professions and the different pathways for study. 

The OU+REACH series consists of a three-day immersive camp in June for 11–12 graders, offered jointly with the Heritage College. The Mini-Health Professions Academy is a two-day camp for 9–10 graders, also in June, offered in partnership with Columbus State Community College.

For OU+REACH participants, quarterly educational opportunities are also offered throughout the remainder of the year. 

Since the camps' inception in 2015, students from urban, rural and suburban high schools have attended the programs at the Ohio University Dublin  location. There, they have participated in a series of interactive academic, clinical and case-based learning activities. In the past, one such case-based learning activity has involved diagnosing “Sarah,” a simulated patient played by either a Heritage College D.O. or CHSP P.A. student.

University admissions staff, current osteopathic medical students and physician assistant students, faculty members from the Heritage College, CHSP and Columbus State and working health professionals will lend invaluable insight to students on how to prepare academically and professionally for a career in the health sciences. They will also share tips on applying for and getting into college.

“The purpose is to expose students with a general interest to the variety of disciplines in the health care field, and show them how to chart a pathway to future success,“ said Ginny Valentine, senior director of Central Ohio programs and partnerships.

This is the first time CHSP and the Heritage College have teamed up to jointly offer the OU+REACH camp. Thanks to the generous support of community partners OhioHealth and Lab Corp, registration for the OU+REACH is free, though limited. The Mini-Health Professions Academy will continue to be free of cost. 

“Both colleges now occupy physical space in Dublin, as well as share similar missions and goals. So there’s a desire to enhance visibility of the university’s presence in Central Ohio, as well as give interested students a new perspective on a career in health care,” said Tim Cain, associate professor of biomedical sciences at Dublin  and member of the camp’s planning team.

“The feedback that we often hear from students is that they walk away with a different perspective. Many times, students will say ‘Wow, I didn’t realize these activities or responsibilities were a part of the profession,’” Cain said.

Cain says the camp activities focus on the unique, constantly evolving demands of modern health care—changes that require a bevvy of new approaches and competencies from health care workers. According to Cain, some of these include communication skills, interprofessional thinking, teamwork and a dedication to life-long learning.

The 2017 OU+REACH camp will take place June 20–22. All Central Ohio 11 and 12 graders are eligible to attend. The parallel 2017 Mini-Health Professions Academy will be held June 21–22, and all Central Ohio 9 and 10 graders are eligible to apply.

First generation students and students from underrepresented populations are especially encouraged to apply. For more information on the OU+REACH series, please visit the site here. To learn more about the Mini-Health Professions Camp, follow the link here.