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2012 Ethel Lund Village Health Occupations Program (VHOP)


A great opportunity for high school students to learn about health careers


SITKA, Feb. 3, 2012 — Few people get to see real emergency room doctors in action, be with operating room staff during surgery or even watch a dentist performing a root canal. Alaska Native and American Indian high school students from Southeast Alaska can experience these and other opportunities when they participate in the Ethel Lund Village Health Occupations Program (VHOP).

Each year, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) selects several Southeast-area Native students interested in health careers for VHOP, and the students spend a week at S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka learning about different health careers and educational opportunities. The health field is growing, which means plenty of job opportunities for people with the right training. Health careers usually offer good pay and employee benefits, as well as the satisfaction of helping others. The experience enables students to evaluate their own strengths and decide which jobs might best suit them.

This year's VHOP session is scheduled for April 24-27, with travel dates being April 23 and 28. Students selected to participate in VHOP receive assistance to cover the travel costs to and from Sitka, housing, meals and some evening entertainment.

“VHOP has had a lot of historical success,” SEARHC Tribal Recruitment Coordinator Jessika Beam said. “Its goal is to promote health careers to Native students from rural communities through active engagement in job shadows, hands-on learning, presentations and career preparedness. The program provides students with a glimpse of what it means to be a health care professional in Alaska. The grow-your-own philosophy behind VHOP has really made an impact on the many students who have participated in the past. The hope is that students will be encouraged to continue to explore and follow through with a career in health care that keeps them in our communities.”

The application deadline is Friday, March 23. Completed applications may be mailed to Jessika Beam, SEARHC Tribal Recruitment Coordinator, c/o Human Resources Department, 222 Tongass Drive, Sitka, AK 99835. Applications also can be faxed to 966-8527, or scanned and e-mailed to jessika.beam@searhc.org. Because space is limited, interested students should apply early. Application packets are available at high school offices, at local village corporations or by going to http://www.searhc.org/students/vhop.php. For additional information, contact Jessika Beam at 1-907-966-8903 or by e-mail at jessika.beam@searhc.org.

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