A new partnership will bring high school students from Memphis-Shelby County Schools to Regional One Health to learn about health care careers.

The students will benefit from hands-on experience, mentoring opportunities, workshops and more, while Regional One Health will have a chance to develop and recruit new talent.

The partnership is kicking off with students from Kingsbury Career & Technical Center, and both organizations hope to expand it to include more schools.

Regional One Health and Memphis-Shelby County Schools are working together to educate and inspire the next generation of health care providers.

Leaders announced a partnership to bring Kingsbury Career & Technical Center students to Regional One Health to learn about health care careers. The goal is to help high school students explore their interests and encourage them to serve their community in the health care field.

Rachel Kemp, RN, MSN, MHA, CRRN, Associate Chief Nursing Officer at Regional One Health, said the students will have the opportunity to shadow providers, get hands-on experience in a medical setting, and learn what they need to do to achieve various clinical and non-clinical health care careers.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have a room full of potential health care workers, potential Regional One Health employees, potential nurses, radiologists, radiology techs, surgical techs, surgeons, etc.,” she said. “To me, there is nothing more exciting than the future of health care, and these students are part of that.”

Kemp said the program benefits the students, Regional One Health, and the community as a whole. “For our community to be successful and for you to be successful, you need opportunities to learn what is available as you grow and develop in your future careers,” she noted.

Phil Dotson, Partnership Director for Memphis-Shelby County Schools, said the initiative is an example of how vocational classes have become an essential part of high school education.

Amber Carter from Regional One Health and Phil Dotson from Memphis-Shelby County Schools formalize a partnership that will bring high schoolers to the hospital to learn about health care careers.

“We talk about the ‘three Es’ – Exposure, Exploration and Employment,” he said. “Those three things have to happen for students to thrive after high school.”

Dotson called the partnership with Regional One Health a “match made in heaven” that gives students incredible access to each of the “three Es.”

They’ll be exposed to health care providers in a variety of specialties and explore medical skills through hands-on experiences, which will help them develop the clinical skills and the soft skills they need to be employed in the medical field after graduation.

Dotson said he looks forward to working with Regional One Health to provide resources for students, develop seminars and workshops, and create internship and mentoring opportunities to encourage students’ future success. Meanwhile, he said, the health care system gets a chance to engage with the community and develop and recruit high-quality talent at an early age.

He said Kingsbury CTC is the perfect place to start.

The school’s mission is to prepare students for careers by offering experiential learning, post-secondary credits and industry certifications. It offers certification programs not only in health care, but in the culinary field, construction, auto mechanics, cosmetology and barbering, etc.

Dotson said the goal is to pilot the Regional One Health partnership with Kingsbury CTC and then expand it to other schools in the district. “This is just scratching the surface,” he said.

Students will benefit from hands-on experience, mentoring and shadowing opportunities, workshops and more as they spend part of their school day at Regional One Health.

Amber Carter, Clinical Placement Coordinator for Nursing Services at Regional One Health, said starting and expanding the program is a crucial component of Regional One Health’s mission of serving the community.

“We want to use this as a way to not only help students, but to show you we’re more than just health care,” she said. “You don’t have to go far to learn great things – we are right here in your backyard, and we serve patients of all walks of life.”

Dotson said students from Kingsbury CTC and other Memphis-Shelby County schools can now strive to be part of that service.

“We’re a district of over 100,000 students, and this is a perfect opportunity to tie them into these careers,” he said. “We want our students to be the best versions of themselves, and we want them to win. Partnerships like this are important for that and to helping our students thrive.”

Learn more about Regional One Health at www.regionalonehealth.org