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Oregon High School Students Experience Health Careers at OHSU Summer Program

The program will take place July 15-18

About 40 high school students from more than 15 Oregon counties have been chosen to participate in the MedStars Honors Program held at Oregon Health & Science University. For four days, students will get a behind-the-scenes look at life as a health care student and provider.

The MedStars Honors Program was created by the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) at OHSU for underserved high school students who are serious about a career in health care and want to experience it for themselves. Some of the students come from various ethnic backgrounds. Others represent underserved populations that may experience economic, geographic or cultural barriers to health care.

MedStars students will get to see what a day in the life of a health care student is like. Several OHSU faculty and students have donated their summer vacation time to give MedStars students an introduction to parasites, dental practice, osteopathic medicine, ophthalmology, sleep research and several other areas of medicine. Activities will be led by a team of OHSU health professionals and students from a variety of health disciplines. The high school students will be supervised and mentored by five counselors, who are past MedStars participants and current college students.

The MedStars program gives students an intense look at health careers, including an introduction to different types of medical research. For example, the students will have the opportunity to observe the use of polysomnographic technology, which gives a comprehensive recording of the biophysical changes that occur during sleep, as it is demonstrated on one of the students.

The operating room in OHSU’s Casey Eye Institute will also have stations set up for the students to learn different surgical procedures using models. They will learn how to place a tube in the trachea and how to use orthopedic and ophthalmology surgical equipment. The MedStars students will also be participating in a hands-on dental lab with the help of OHSU School of Dentistry students.

Participants from counties all over Oregon include the following:

Brenda Niu, Corvallis


Brian Armstrong, Bend
Ashley Bromley, Bend
Todd Hagen, Bend
Merissa Honey, Bend
Zach Pankratz, Redmond
Lillian Sawyer, Redmond

Tyler Harwood, Sutherlin
Janessa Johnson, Elkton
Annie Johnson, Myrtle Creek
Shantelle Barke, Roseburg

Melissa Law, Astoria
Hannah Whisler, Astoria

Aubree Parmalee, Brookings

Lyanna Diaz, Rogue River
Sabrina Pol, Medford

Alicia Bulux-Rodas, Pheonix

Tiffany Perry, Grants Pass
Konieczny, Grants Pass


Devin Rojas, Klamath Falls
Kelsey Wickham, Klamath Falls

Ashley Buccholz, Eugene

Jennifer Meadowbrook, Lebanon
Mitnework Vanover, Lebanon

Garrett Gomez, Toledo
Oliver Mainland, Eddyville

Taner Morinaka, Nyssa

Sarah Gurule, Salem
Emily Brown, Salem
Samantha Dougherty, Salem
Anayeli Franco, Salem

Maggie Armato, Heppner
Sarah Ballard, Heppner

Tauscha Calvin, Independence
Freddie Jimenez, Independence

Tylee Fernalld, Athena
Lee Anne Natera, Hermiston

Pedro Abdala, La Grande
Tanner Van Leuyen, Imbler

Jessica Miller, Fossil

About OHSU
Oregon Health & Science University is the state’s only health and research university, and Oregon’s only academic health center. OHSU is Portland's largest employer and the fourth largest in Oregon (excluding government), with 12,400 employees. OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support activities not found anywhere else in the state. It serves patients from every corner of the state, and is a conduit for learning for more than 3,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to every county in the state.

As a leader in research, OHSU earned $307 million in research funding in fiscal year 2007. OHSU serves as a catalyst for the region's bioscience industry and is an incubator of discovery, averaging one new breakthrough or innovation every three days, with more than 4,100 research projects currently under way. OHSU disclosed 132 inventions in 2007 alone, and OHSU research resulted in 33 new spinoff companies since 2000, most of which are based in Oregon.

About Oregon AHEC

The Area Health Education Centers Program is a partnership between OHSU and Oregon communities. Its purpose is to improve the education, training and distribution of health care professionals in Oregon. There are four regional AHECs statewide, each dedicated to working with local health care facilities and providers, community leaders, schools and citizens to identify and meet local needs. All four AHECs have programs to encourage young people, before they leave home, to consider a health career.

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