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Nurturing Aspiring Healthcare Professionals with Our Future Faces of Family Medicine Program

01/31/2024 by Kari Perlewitz

North Country HealthCare's Future Faces of Family Medicine ProgramIn the heart of Flagstaff, a groundbreaking initiative is shaping the future of healthcare! North Country HealthCare’s Future Faces of Family Medicine (FFFM) program aims to provide an invaluable mentorship opportunity to students who have expressed an interest in healthcare. This in-person program exposes students to a wide range of applications and topics designed to prepare them for a potential future career in the healthcare industry.

The Future Faces of Family Medicine program is run through The NARBHA Institute  Family & Community Medicine Residency program at the Colorado Plateau Center for Health Professions (CPCHP), with funding from the Direct Relief Fund for Health Equity and the Arizona AHEC Program. This 9-week program matches high school students with resident physicians for structured weekly sessions that include hands-on workshops, exploration of post-secondary education plans, and first-hand insights into the different healthcare careers available. 

Who Can Participate in Future Faces of Family Medicine?

While the FFFM program is open to students in Flagstaff, the selection process gives priority to students from minority backgrounds, those with lower-income status, or those who are the first in their families to pursue a college education. This commitment to inclusivity aligns with the mission of CPCHP, which is to encourage diverse youth to consider healthcare professions and ultimately help serve medically underserved areas in Arizona and beyond.

Of course, the family medicine resident doctors and program director are the backbone of the FFFM program. These healthcare professionals not only help plan and execute the program; they also provide life-changing mentorship to the next generation of healthcare workers. The residents have shared that they find lots of satisfaction due to their work in the program, and they also feel inspired by their interactions with program participants!

Achieving Milestones and Setting Objectives

The inaugural 9-week session took place in the Spring of 2023, followed by a successful second session in the Fall of the same year. Both sessions saw students engaging in workshops on practical skills like suturing, heart dissection, and ultrasound technology.

Additionally, students had the opportunity to interact with a panel of diverse healthcare professionals, exploring post-secondary education options and financial assistance. A highlight of the program was a research project with a poster presentation that showcased the students’ newfound knowledge and skills.

The upcoming Spring 2024 semester will allow a mix of students from the first two cohorts to shadow resident physicians in the clinic, providing a firsthand look at the day-to-day responsibilities of healthcare professionals. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to obtain CPR certifications to further prepare them for a future in healthcare!

The Inspired by Health Scholarship

To further support the aspirations of FFFM graduates, North Country HealthCare is offering the Inspired by Health Scholarship. This $3,500 scholarship is available to students who have completed either FFFM, the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corp High School Exploration Program (TCRHCC-HSEP), or Indigenous Pride Health Workers (IPHW) through CPCHP in 2023 or 2024. Eligible students must be enrolled or must be planning to enroll in a two or four-year post-secondary academic program to pursue a career in healthcare or public health.

You can read more about the Future Faces of Family Medicine program and other health career programs for youth here or reach out to Youth Health Careers Program Coordinator Sarah Frain, MEd at 928.522.1060. Her email address is sfrain@nchcaz.org. 

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