On Wednesday, Aug. 23, Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) College of Health Sciences in partnership with Baptist Health Richmond and Ignite Academy of Madison County hosted an inauguration for new students in the Medical Explorers Academy. The Medical Explorers Academy is a new program designed to provide high school students in-depth learning opportunities about healthcare careers as they develop the skill sets required to be successful clinicians.
High school juniors enrolled in a health pathway at Ignite Academy North and South were eligible to apply. Students selected to participate will complete the program in two consecutive years. After completing the Academy program, they will receive internship credit toward their health pathway.
“The Medical Explorers Academy was very important to increasing my own knowledge and self-efficacy when I was a high school junior and senior in Ohio. I’m excited for our local students to have the same experiences,” said Dr. Daniel Czech, dean of EKU’s College of Health Sciences. “It is an honor and a privilege to partner with the hospital and Madison County Schools to create the Medical Explorers Academy.”
EKU’s College of Health Sciences will host students on campus for instructional training and lab experiences once a month. Students will also visit Baptist Health Richmond one day a month to complete hands-on educational training, while working alongside highly skilled and certified clinicians.
“Madison County Schools and Ignite Academy are excited to partner with Eastern Kentucky University and Baptist Health Richmond,” said Chris Clark, director of Ignite Academy of Madison County Schools. “The Medical Explorers Academy is a great opportunity for our students to be exposed to EKU’s nursing program and have the opportunity to job shadow and intern at Baptist Health. This partnership will give students experience in the healthcare field to help them be successful.”
“The Medical Explorers Academy is a beautiful representation of the healthcare partnerships in our community and the united desire to build the healthcare workforce capacity for the region,” said Dr. Mendy Blair, vice president and chief nursing officer at Baptist Health Richmond. “The hospital is honored to have this opportunity to advance these students' professional practice and their desire to become a healthcare provider. Our clinicians are eager to share their knowledge and inspire the students to become compassionate, highly qualified clinicians.”