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Wednesday, November 10, 2004
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HCOP hosts science and health careers fair

ATHENS, Ohio (Nov. 10, 2004) -- The Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine will sponsor "Health-Care Professions and the Cycle of Life" on Saturday, Nov. 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Grover Center. The fair is a fun, horizon-broadening educational event that will expose disadvantaged young people to career opportunities in the health and science fields. It is for middle-school students who are members of the HCOP's Science and Health Careers Club.

The Science and Health Careers Club is an academic year-long program for seventh- and eighth-grade students interested in health-care careers. The program currently has students from Vinton County Junior High School, Meigs Middle School, Alexander Junior High School and Trimble Middle School. This year 58 students were chosen to participate in the club. The members of the club explore many areas relating to science and health care. Members also learn about the importance of developing cultural competency as health-care professionals, job shadowing and preparation for college.

In the morning students will be able to talk with professionals from nursing, pediatrics, geriatrics, osteopathic medicine, mental health, community health and other medical sciences about developing careers.

Throughout the day there will be hands-on labs, including fun activities involving fitness, hearing and speech. OU-COM students from the Pediatrics Club, Student Osteopathic Medical Association and Geriatrics Club will be working with the middle-school students during the fair. Staff from the Upward Bound college preparatory program and the College of Health and Human Services will also be involved in the day's activities.

Elizabeth Minor, director of HCOP, is very excited about the event.

"Our 2004 Science and Health Careers Fair is an opportunity for middle-school students in our region to learn about careers in health-care professions. So often students have no idea of what careers are out there, let alone what interests them. It is important for them to begin to get exposure in their early years, to help them develop career goals for the future," said Minor.

For more information about the fair or other programs focused on local middle and high school students, please contact Denise Hughes-Tafen at (740) 593-0917.

OU-COM's HCOP and Center of Excellence programs support disadvantaged and underrepresented minority students with career goals in the health-care fields by providing academic year and summer programs designed to improve student access and success. The COE also provides a support structure for underrepresented minority medical students, faculty and administrators at OU-COM. Additionally, it promotes diversity and cultural competency among medical students, faculty and staff, and within the curricula and institutional research. HCOP also sponsors a variety of programs including Summer Institute, Dayton Consortium, Summer Enrichment, Program ExCEL and Summer Scholars.

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Media Contact: Writer/Editor Kevin M. Sanders, (740) 593-0896

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