The Hawaii Quentin Burdick Rural Health Interdisciplinary Training Program celebrated it's 10th year anniversary at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. This program provides college students in a variety of disciplines the opportunity to live and work in rural settings. The hope is that this will encourage them to consider working in rural communities following graduation. This program also provides them with valuable contacts that often result in future job opportunities.
The program is open to students from nursing, medicine, social work, public health, psychology, medical technology, nutrition, dental hygiene, education, speech/audiology, and speech communication who become members of interdisciplinary teams that participate in three seminars during the spring semester to familiarize them with the program. The students then participate in a six week summer practicum in one of six rural sites throughout the state.
This year, a group of four college students: Rana Jackson, Melanie Minami, Keri Ferenback, and Christine Marzo came to Honoka'a to work with the Hamakua Health Center on a number of projects including initiating a community needs assessment; participation in the Summer Asthma Camp; providing nutritional information to parents of students participating in Kinder KAMP at Honoka'a, Laupahoehoe and Paauilo Schools; and "Jump Start your College Career" -- a mentoring program providing information to high school students and their parents regarding college applications and financial aid.
In addition to the college students, Honoka'a High School Senior Patti Connors was invited to participate during the practicum with the interdisciplinary teams of health science students thus providing her with the unique hands-on opportunity to learn more about health care careers.