Nā Pua No'eau and Health Careers Opportunity Program host Teen Health Camp

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Elizabeth A Simon, (808) 864-0527
Office of Student Equity Excellence Diversity
Posted: Jan 15, 2013

Learning the science of suture at teen health camp
Learning the science of suture at teen health camp

Nā Pua No'eau (NPN) and the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa will host Teen Health Camp Hawai`i on Saturday, February 2, from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. in UH West Oʻahu's cafeteria.

This one-day, free event will introduce students in grades 8-12 to dynamic opportunities in a wide assortment of healthcare careers.  Teen Health Camp Hawai`i is designed to address the education and career planning needs of Native Hawaiian and economically disadvantaged intermediate and high school students. Interactive workshops and skill demonstrations will be presented by community healthcare professionals, undergraduates from UH Mānoa’s HCOP, and students from the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).

The camp activities include the following:

·      “Stitch It Up” will put surgical instruments in teen hands with detailed instructions on how to suture abrasions on a simulated human arm.

·      “Casting call” will enable participants to apply and remove real casting material, as seen on the televised ER and in actual emergency rooms.

·       “Local Grindz” will explore the theory that “you are what you eat.”

·      “Decisions We Make” will give help in connecting the dots between strategic planning and future success.

·      “Your future in healthcare” will light the way to rewarding healthcare careers.

·      “Ola Pono” will spotlight the vibrant healing traditions of Native Hawaiians.

In addition, booths will offer a variety of resources to help Hawai`i youngsters attain the education and training required in more than 20 professions that serve the healthcare needs of all Hawai`i.  
“The main purpose of the camp is to encourage Native Hawaiian and other students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue work in the health care professions, which are expected to generate a growing number of jobs in Hawai`i in the near future,” said Kinohi Gomes, UH Mānoa Director of Operations for NPN, which provides enrichment and educational support to Native Hawaiian children.

The Teen Health Camp was originally created by a group of JABSOM medical students interested in promoting social justice by boosting recruitment of a diverse and community-based healthcare labor force in underserved areas of Hawai`i.  Student volunteers from JABSOM and HCOP at UH Mānoa will be partnering to work directly with isle teens at health camps throughout 2013.  Times and locations will be announced.

“Many students from disadvantaged backgrounds have not been exposed to career planning and are not aware of the variety of healthcare professions that exist outside of conventional bedside nursing,” said Agnes Malate, Director of UH Mānoa HCOP, which helps high school students from disadvantaged households to prepare for healthcare fields. Added Malate, “Any student who participates in the Teen Health Camp will meet professional role models from their own communities and will come away with the understanding that there is a wealth of enjoyable challenges, personal qualities and technical skills inherent in health care delivery."

Recent studies suggest that disadvantaged students are more likely to enter lucrative professions of healthcare when they receive relevant mentoring and career counseling services in high school or earlier. Gomes says that by providing these services, the Teen Health Camp potentially increases healthcare equity in Hawai`i. Gomes points to studies that show continuing disparities in health significantly burden Native Hawaiians. He says that experts agree that the disparities can be reduced by increasing diversity among health care workers and by expanding the cultural competency of all health care providers.

NPN and HCOP are programs of the UH Mānoa Office of Student Equity Excellence and Diversity (SEED). Additional support for Teen Health Camp Hawai`i comes from the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy, UH West O`ahu, Ke Ola Mamo and the Wai`anae Coast Comprehensive Healthcare Center, Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and UH Mānoa's School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene.

For student registration, call NPN at (808) 956-9410.  Media inquiries can be directed to UH Mānoa Office of Student Equity Excellence and Diversity at (808) 864-0527 or (808) 956-6749.