AHECWW is developing a Health Professions Affinity Community (HPAC) program to encourage high school students to explore healthcare careers. HPAC is a facilitated student activity that meets at participating high schools. Students in the HPAC learn to identify community health issues under the guidance of an AmeriCorps College Access Coordinator. Activities include presentations by healthcare professionals, field trips, and tutoring. HPAC focuses on students from diverse populations that are under-represented in health professions. AHECWW launched the first HPAC in Washington State as a pilot project at two Whatcom County high schools in 2018.

History

The HPAC program began in Ohio where it currently serves about 2,000 youth in hundreds of high schools across the state. It is built around the IDEAS model of community engagement:

Identify: students identify a health concern in their community
Develop: Students design a project to address the concern
Enact: Students implement their project, conducting research, collecting data on conditions before and after
Assess: Students evaluate the results of their project
Share: Students present and report their results to their community and schools

AmeriCorps Role

The HPAC Pilot Project for 2018-2018 school year engages College Access Coaches who act as mentors and tutors for high school students. The AmeriCorps Campus Compact member recruits and supervises the College Access Coaches in activities at participating high schools. Many College Access Coaches are university or college students at regional institutions such as WWU or WCC.

Sign up for HPAC

HPAC has been established starting in October 2018 at Ferndale High School and Nooksack Valley High School. Additional outreach and collaboration are working toward HPAC programs at Mount Baker High School and Lummi Nation High School.

For more information, contact AHECWW at (360) 383-3170