AHECWW is working with partners across the state to make it easier for healthcare students to map their academic pathway to healthcare and STEM certifications and degree programs. There are a vast number of outreach programs throughout the Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho (WWAMI) region striving to bring minorities who are underrepresented in the health care fields toward college level training in the health sciences.
Summer programs provide chances for high school students to explore degree options – explore a regional list.
The NWHCP website includes information on career pathway programs in the WWAMI Region, making it accessible in a searchable database and interactive map to students, advisors, and educators via a website and app.
- Link participants and volunteers to programs
- Encourage programs to work with neighbors and create opportunities for cooperation
- Identify both areas of overlap and where there are gaps in programming
- Improve data collection and measurement of the impact of pipeline programs
- Research methods to track student outcomes
Summer is a great time to explore and gain experiential learning. Summer programs give hands-on interactions that highlight the rewards and excitement of many types of healthcare careers
The Summer Health Professions Education Program (formerly SMDEP) www.shpep.org sponsored by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), serves as the free, six-week academic enrichment program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Eligible students include, but are not limited to, individuals who identify as African American/Black, American Indian and Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino, and who are from communities of socioeconomic and educational disadvantage. Universities across the USA participate in SHPEP.
Participate in SHPEP at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Find details about the program at the UW School of Medicine Center for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion website. Students receive a $600 stipend and free accommodation for the program.
AHECWW is working with SHPEP to get the word out to interested health career students who may benefit. Students are encouraged to apply and take the opportunity to join this FREE, summer enrichment program that is filled with countless career development opportunities. This is a Health Careers Collaborative Opportunity for AHECs with the Association of American Medical Colleges.
University of Washington – Summer Teen Program
The Summer Teen Program runs June through August for high school students aged sixteen through eighteen. Summer Teens interact in the hospital environment to greet and direct visitors, transport patients, deliver specimens to the lab and flowers and mail to patients, support the Information Desk, and assist staff with special projects
Western Washington University College Quest
A true immersive college experience – from residence hall to classroom – gives high school students the chance to take a real college course, earn 1 university credit, gain valuable college success information, and form extraordinary social connections. Students who complete this program get an advantage as they plan for their academic future
National Student Leadership Conference on Medicine & Health Care, University of Washington, July and August
At the National Student Leadership Conference on Medicine & Health Care, students perform clinical rounds, learn medical examination and surgical techniques, and participate in diagnosis and treatment while solving the mystery of a fatal outbreak of an illness sweeping the nation. High school students grapple with controversial medical issues, learn about today’s health care challenges and explore advanced scientific research in areas such as cancer and HIV/AIDS.
Students in the Summer Program carry out Providence’s mission of caring for the poor and vulnerable while increasing their awareness of the healthcare field as a potential career path. Students learn the principles of sound decision-making and problem-solving skills while receiving supportive coaching and mentoring from staff. The interactive experience in a hospital environment develops key communication skills in a diverse environment made up of patients, family members, visitors and staff from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds.
MultiCare helps students interested in health care to clarify their career choices. The variety of programs includes nurse camp, Pharmacy, Imaging, Physical Therapy and more. Students gain experience and an understanding of the educational pathways to achieve the career of their dreams.
MultiCare is a not-for-profit health care organization that has been caring for Washington's communities for over a century. It’s the largest community-based, locally governed health system in the state and includes primary care, urgent care and specialty services.
COPE Health Scholars, Junior Health Scholar Program, Swedish Medical Centers – First Hill
As a Junior Health Scholar, students observe how the patient care team works together to deliver excellent care and explore what it's really like to work in a healthcare career.
Together with AHECs across the country and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a new interdisciplinary educational program has been launched: AHEC Scholars. AHEC Scholars focuses on training a diverse culturally competent healthcare workforce that specializes in serving rural and underserved communities.
Healthcare students apply to become AHEC Scholars and will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the two-year program. AHEC Scholars are competitively selected from applicants with priority given to students from disadvantaged backgrounds or racial/ethnic groups that are considered inadequately represented in health professions. Students from a variety of health profession degree or certificate programs comprise each cohort of Scholars.
During both years, students participate in didactic and clinical/experiential/community learning that augments their respective degree program requirements and prepares them to provide whole-person care serving rural and under served communities.
AHEC Scholars centers around six core topic areas:
*AHECWW prefers the term cultural humility, which acknowledges that mastery of a finite body of knowledge may not be appropriate. Instead, cultural humility invites us to practice the lifelong commitment to self-evaluation, redressing power imbalances, and developing mutually beneficial advocacy partnerships with communities. (Definition adapted from Tervalon and Murray-Garcia, 1998)
AHECWW facilitates the Health Professions Affinity Community (HPAC) program to encourage high school students to explore healthcare careers. HPAC is a facilitated student activity that meets at participating high schools. Students in the HPAC learn to identify community health issues under the guidance of an AmeriCorps College Access Coordinator. Activities include presentations by healthcare professionals, field trips, and tutoring. HPAC focuses on students from diverse populations that are under-represented in health professions. AHECWW launched the first HPAC in Washington State as a pilot project at two Whatcom County high schools in 2018.
The HPAC program began in Ohio where it currently serves about 2,000 youth in hundreds of high schools across the state. It is built around the IDEAS model of community engagement:
Identify: students identify a health concern in their community
Develop: Students design a project to address the concern
Enact: Students implement their project, conducting research, collecting data on conditions before and after
Assess: Students evaluate the results of their project
Share: Students present and report their results to their community and schools
The HPAC Pilot Project continues in the 2019-2020 school year, engaging College Access Coaches acting as mentors and tutors for high school students. AmeriCorps Campus Compact College Access Coaches guide activities at participating high schools. Many College Access Coaches are university or college students at regional institutions such as Western Washington University or Whatcom Community College.
HPAC opportunities expanding
HPACs are operating at Ferndale High School, Nooksack Valley High School, and Mount Baker High School during the 2019-2020 academic year. HPAC students presented their community health project results at the Healthcare Career Pathways Summit on April 26, 2019.
Contact AHECWW at (360) 383-3170
Current and future health sciences students, and high school student exploring health career options will find resources and links for certificate programs, summer programs, and more.
Summer Health Professions Education Program
Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) is a FREE six-week academic summer enrichment program for first-year and sophomore college students who are interested in the health professions. SHPEP especially encourages applicants from groups that are underrepresented in the health professions, or from individuals from an economically disadvantaged background.
- Summer Health Professions Education Program brochure
- Summer Health Professions Education Program questions and answers
For more information, call (866) 587-6337.
General College Resources
Big Future is a service of the College Board to help connect students to college success and opportunity. The Big Future website provides general information about the college experience, including exploring educational programs, paying for college, career search tools, and finding colleges by program type.
High school students get a full day experiencing different Health Care Careers. AHECWW and partners host Scrubs Camps in various communities around western Washington in 2020: Port Angeles (March 20, 2020), Tacoma (March 27, 2020), and Bellingham (summer date TBD).
Work Source Washington provides a wealth of information about career training and programs to help you navigate career planning. The AHECWW Healthcare Training Programs document provides links and details for a wide variety of healthcare certificate and degree programs. These programs are also listed on the Educational Programs page.
Credentialing for Healthcare Professions
Resources for Veteran Students
The National LGBT Health Education Center
The National LGBT Health Education Center provides educational programs, resources, and consultation to health care organizations with the goal of optimizing quality, cost-effective health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The Education Center is a part of The Fenway Institute, the research, training, and health policy division of Fenway Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center, and one of the world’s largest LGBT-focused health centers. (Source: https://www.lgbthealtheducation.org/).
HIV/AIDS and First Aid Training
Learn more about requirements for HIV/AIDS training requirements at the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) website. You are required to have AIDS education if you (1) work as a health care professional or in a state licensed or certified health care facility in Washington, or (2) want to get a license, certification or registration to practice a regulated health care profession in Washington state. The DOH site lists details on HIV/AIDS trainings in the state.
Mental Health First Aid
AHECWW offers periodic Mental Health First Aid trainings for professionals and community members throughout western Washington. Learn more about these trainings in the Resources for Communities section below. The National Council for Behavioral Health lists Mental Health First Aid classes throughout the country at the Mental Health First Aid website.
Rural Opioid Educational Resources
The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health has developed a compendium of all Rural Opioid Educational Resources available across their website to aid individuals looking for education, tools, and other resources. This includes reports, webinar presentations, meeting presentations, and a compendium of resources and lessons learned from grantees of the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy’s Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal (ROOR) grant program. As new resources become available, more information will be added. Visit the NOSORH page.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Below are some of the many programs that offer financial assistance for students in healthcare programs of study. Be sure to read the annual guidance and update: programs change and are dependent on legislative funding decisions. Visit the linked websites and sign up for updates to get announcements of new or changed programs.
Federal Financial Aid Resources
Financial aid for students is available through a variety of sources at the federal and state level. For many scholarship programs, the first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application form. Review the detailed information on resources, planning, and completing the FAFSA at studentaid.ed.gov.
National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarships
You can apply to the NHSC Scholarship Program if you are committed to primary care and accepted to or enrolled in an accredited U.S. school in one of the following primary care disciplines:
- Physicians (MD or DO),
- Nurse Practitioners (post graduate degree with clinical practice focus),
- Certified Nurse-Midwives,
- Physician Assistants.
The scholarship pays tuition, fees, other educational costs, and provides a living stipend in return for a commitment to work at least 2 years at an NHSC-approved site in a medically underserved community. Learn more at the HRSA website: https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/.
This NHSC video describes more about the NHSC scholarship, loan repayment, and Students to Service programs.
Students to Service Program
Are you a medical or dental student in your final year of school? The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP) provides up to $120,000 to medical (MD and DO) or dental (DDS or DMD) students in their final year of school in return for a commitment to provide primary health care full time for at least 3 years at an approved NHSC site in a Health Professional Shortage Area of greatest need. Learn more from the HRSA website.
Washington State Opportunity Scholarship
WSOS supports Scholars pursuing health care degrees from every corner and county of Washington state. A public-private partnership that believes innovative industries thrive when they reflect their own communities, WSOS works to create a college to career pipeline that provides opportunities for women and students of color.
Scholarship funds are flexible and can be used to cover tuition, fees and other costs of attendance such as housing, transportation, food and more. The Baccalaureate Scholarship application opens each year in January. The Community and Technical Scholarship application opens three times a year in May, September and January. More details on how to apply are at the waopportunityscholarship.org website.
This new grant makes education affordable for more families in Washington State. Award amounts vary based on income and grant funds can be used to cover full tuition at any in-state public college or university, including community or technical colleges, or provide a comparable amount toward tuition and other education-related costs at an approved private college or career training program. There is no separate application for the Washington College Grant. Students should complete a state or federal financial aid application.
The Washington Scholarship Coalition operates the WashBoard.org website where students can easily be matched to available scholarships specific to their situation. Assistance with financial aid application forms is also available.
Washington Health Corps gives financial support to health professionals through loan repayment and other supports. The health corps programs encourage licensed health professionals to provide primary care at approved sites in critical shortage areas. Washington Health Corps administers the state health program (SHP), the new behavioral health program (BHP), and the federal health program (FHP) (a federal grant–state match program). If you are interested in learning more about the Washington State loan repayment options, the Washington Student Achievement Council website has additional details.
AAMC Financial Planning for Healthcare Education
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) provides a full-service loans organizer and calculator available to medical students. The MedLoans Organizer and Calculator (MLOC) is also available for other students to use in managing education debt.
Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) Program. The SDS program increases the diversity of the health workforce by funding eligible academic institutions that are training health profession students. The institutions then make scholarships available to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have financial need. Students should contact their financial aid office. HRSA has $48,200,000 available to make approximately 79 awards in FY 2020. The application cycle closes on March 3, 2020. Technical Assistance webinars take place on the 6th and 20th of February.
Rural Primary-care Research Education and Practice (Rural PREP) helps fund research to improve rural healthcare, offering support to encourage and promote research and scholarly activity in rural health professions education. Find out more and apply at Rural PREP. Sponsored by the Collaborative for Rural Primary care Research Education and Practice.