UWSP students selected for Health Scholars Program

For the Metro Wire

Both students and the community will benefit from a new scholarship partnership between the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Marshfield Clinic Health System that aims to support, educate and train aspiring health care professionals in Central Wisconsin.

Starting this fall, 10 students will take part in the UW-Stevens Point Health Scholars Program, sponsored by Marshfield Clinic Health System. The program will create the next generation of health care leaders by training students in relevant clinical experiences, pivotal community service opportunities, and significant professional development at UW-Stevens Point.

This two-year academic enrichment and career exploration program offers exposure to many health care professions and provides community service opportunities that allow students to gain perspective and understanding of rural health care needs.

A highlight of the two-year program is career-specific training and mentoring from professionals in specific fields of interest. The Health Scholars Program also provides career advising support and assistance to prepare and pursue advanced graduate, professional or continued education opportunities.

“I believe the scholars will find this program is one of the most rewarding and impactful university experiences,” said Tiff Akins, director of the Health Scholars Program. “In partnership with Marshfield Clinic Health System, we will train future health care professionals with an interprofessional approach to addressing some of our greatest rural health care concerns.”

The first year of the program will collaborate with the Marshfield Clinic Health System Community Connections Team, which aims to keep patients well beyond the walls of a health care facility. Students will work with patients to connect them to resources based on their needs.

While assisting patients, students will train with mentors and discuss social factors of health to develop a greater understanding of health care issues. Students will be able to continue to grow with the Community Connections Team beyond the first year of the program and expand into other programs the team offers to the community, such as free clinics and public health initiatives.

The second year will focus on developing career-specific skills, working with patients and research opportunities. Students will develop insight and direct mentor relationships with professionals in each scholar’s desired field of study. The direct observation will allow students to gain perspective and understanding of rural health care needs.

Upon completion of the two-year Health Scholars Program, students will be eligible for a semester of intensive practicum/internship experience.

Students were recognized at their department awards ceremony this spring and will receive a $1,000 scholarship for each year in the program.

Members of this fall’s first health scholars cohort include:

Amelia Bates, Brillion, health science-pre-occupational therapy
Hanna Christensen, Peshtigo, pre-nursing
Kayla Hammon, Stevens Point, pre-nursing
Harli Kelton, Frederic, health science-health care administration
Emily Kopperud, Green Bay, communication sciences and disorders
Jensynn Lesinki, Appleton, dietetics
Summer Manzke, Waukesha, dietetics
Brandon Patoka, Appleton, health science-pre-physical therapy
Julia Reigh, Oshkosh, social work
Allie Turenne, Merrill, social work