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Gilbert High School Students Attend "Camp" at Concord & Wvsom

Gilbert High School Students Attend “Camp” at Concord & Wvsom

Athens, W.Va. – Thirty-two high school students from Gilbert High School in Mingo County visited Concord University and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) this past Monday, December 8. The “mini-camp,” which was sponsored by the Southwest Area Health Education Center (AHEC) provided students with specialized lectures on the health professions and medical careers in West Virginia.

This was the second year that Gilbert High School has participated. In order to earn a spot at the camp, students had to take at least two advanced science courses. Many had taken physics, chemistry, advanced biology and an advanced course in mathematics to qualify.

“Careers in the health professions are definitely available in West Virginia,” said Michael Curry, vice president for admissions and financial aid at Concord. “Right here in your own back yard, you can get an excellent education and be a part of a profession that touches lives and saves lives.”

Holly Damron from Oak Hill, a Concord University junior pre-med student, encouraged the students to study hard. “Biology, chemistry and advanced math are hard but they will prepare you for the wonderful opportunities you’ll have when you come to college. I’ve worked in the Health Science & Technology Academy program, the McNair Scholars Research program and been a part of an AHEC rotation. All that will help me when I apply to medical school. Take advantage of every extra opportunity you find.”

After a tour of Concord University and lunch in the cafeteria, the students boarded the bus for the ride to Lewisburg. After a brief lecture, the students were permitted to visit the anatomy lab where human bodies were being dissected by WVSOM medical students.

Sue Morgan, who teaches biology and advanced placement biology, accompanied the students. “Juniors on the trip were in both advanced biology and chemistry one and seniors who were in advanced placement biology and advanced placement chemistry were in attendance. Our students are looking at career options and some are considering a career in medicine and the health care field and the purpose of this trip was to help them decide. Many of the students who were not considering health care were so excited about the possibilities that they are considering changing their career to one in the health care field. One student said this was the ‘coolest’ field trip that she had ever taken!”

Jennifer Miller served as co-advisor for the trip.

The students plan on sustaining their involvement in health care by forming a club at their high school. AHEC will help provide programming for the club in hopes of one day seeing these students pursue careers as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, mental health professionals and the like.

“AHEC is dedicated to helping young students find viable options for medical careers in West Virginia,” said Debbie Curry, executive director of the sponsoring AHEC program. “West Virginia needs to nurture our brightest and best students interested in health care so they will stay and make a difference in their native state.”

Students attending were: (seniors) Leslee Browning, Cyndi Cline, Charity Gibson, Crystal Goff, Tabitha Grimmett, Crystal Jeffrey, Siera Justice, Jessie Lambert, Deborah Lester, Jonathan Lester, Blake Mounts, Amanda Muncy and Candice Smith.

Juniors in attendance were: Courtney Birchfield, Dustin Blankenship, Emily Blankenship, Jeremy Brown, Sean Browning, Jerome Cline, Whittney B. Cline, Brittani Cook, Nick Dean, Patricia Dingess, Robert Grimmett, Elizabeth Houck, Samantha Huffman, Shane Icenhour, Josh Johnson, Derek Lester, Josh Lester, Chandra Roberson and Kamie Vanover.

For more information on other mini-camp experiences such as this one, call Concord University at 1-888-384-5249 or the Southwest Area Health Education Center at 1-304-384-3273.