KERMIT – The Mingo County Board of Education approved a motion to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Tug Valley Appalachian Regional Hospital (ARH) to allow high school students to take advantage of programs that would enable them to learn more about careers associated with the health field.
Tim Hatfield, CEO of Tug Valley ARH, approached the BOE during the general consideration portion of a regular meeting held Tuesday, March 22.
Hatfield attended the meeting to discuss several programs available for high school students at ARH.
“I understand the culture of Appalachia and I understand what our needs are. We have been successful with bringing a lot of positions back at the hospital in our communities. That is very important. For many years, we had a lot of our brightest students leaving and not coming back…” Hatfield stated.
One program available is called an Observership program. The program is open to all high school students. Hatfield explained, “any one that is freshman, sophomore, junior or senior in high school that would like to come to our hospital and spend a day in a particular part of our hospital; we have some paperwork to fill out and they can come spend an hour or a day.” This would enable students to find out about different areas of the hospital that are of interest including education involved and supply and demand for positions in that particular field of interest. “I think this is a great opportunity,” Hatfield continued.
Another program available is the Explore program. “This is open to juniors and seniors in Mingo, Pike and Martin County. We meet once a month, usually the first Thursday in the month. Every time we meet, we have about 30 kids and we take a look at a different part of the hospital. It is a great opportunity to learn more about healthcare. There is a high demand for a lot of specialties out there,” Hatfield stated.
“The last thing I want to mention, for lack of better words, we are in the infancy of talking about this… I like to call it the Scrubs program,” Hatfield continued. This program would be available for high school students during the summer. “We would take a week and bring the students in. We would expose them every day to different areas of the hospital. Put them in scrubs and put them in the hospital… That is something we are still talking about and developing,” Hatfield explained.
For more information on these programs, contact Tim Hatfield at 606-237-1710.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)