* New for the Fall 2017 semester *
The Mountain Area Health Education Center has started PROMISE rural workshop programs at four high schools in Western North Carolina (Yancey, Mitchell, McDowell, and Madison). These workshops include both professional development opportunities as well as hands on medical workshops that range from interview skills, to pig dissection. The workshops are geared towards those interested in a medical profession, however are open to all high school students. These workshop will not take place of the core PROMISE model (including the clinical shadowing experience), however they are meant to supplement the core program allowing access to those who may not have the capacity to do a semester long rotation. Six workshops were held at each of the four high schools throughout the semester allowing over 350 students to take part in this opportunity. MAHEC is expanding the program into Swain County starting with the Spring 2018 semester, with hopes to eventually be able to conduct the workshops in all 16 rural counties inside of MAHEC’s service area.
Project PROMISE (Providing Rural Opportunities in Medicine through Inspiring Service and Education) recruits motivated rural high school students with authentic interest in healthcare and supports them by providing exposure and mentorship in the medical field. Additionally, PROMISE students use the healthcare knowledge that they acquire during their internship to give back to the community. These two key pillars of the program are designed to assist and guide rural students into the medical field while nurturing in them a sense of pride and commitment to serving their rural communities.
Project PROMISE was started in the fall of 2014 by two UNC Chapel Hill Medical Students who plan to practice primary care in Western North Carolina. Originally supported by an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, Project PROMISE seeks to be a locally-run and community-sustained effort through which we collectively invest in the health of our region.
“We can provide incentives to attract healthcare professionals to the area from other parts of the country, and such measures will help. But imagine a community that trains its own students and supports them in their path to a healthcare profession. Envision practitioners returning who were once students in these mountains and know the needs of the community best – this is Project PROMISE” — Rivers Woodward