The National Institute of General Medical Sciences has awarded a $1.3 million to a new University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) initiative to educate rural Tennessee high school students about careers in medical laboratory sciences and public health information technology. Jacen Moore, PhD, MLS (ASCP), assistant professor in the department of Diagnostic and Health Sciences in the College of Health Professions, is the principal investigator and program director. Rebecca Reynolds, EdD, RHIA, FAHIMA, professor and program director of Health Informatics and Information Management, and Keisha Brooks Burnett, EdD, MS, SCT (ASCP)MB, associate professor and program director of Cytotechnology and Histotechnology, are members of Dr. Moore’s team.
Called “High School 2 Health Care” (HS2HC), the project seeks to enhance opportunities in these fields for underserved student populations. It is comprised of a summer program and dual enrollment course that will educate high school students and their teachers about careers in medical laboratory sciences and public health information technology. Integrating Next Generation Science Standards, the classes will give students and teachers the opportunity to develop hands-on-skills and experience what a career in these fields would involve.
Dr. Moore’s team is working in collaboration with a team led by Dr. Simpfronia Taylor, director of the Ripley extension center at the University of Tennessee at Martin, and a team led by Dr. Carolyn Kaldon at the Center for Research and Educational Policy at the University of Memphis. The project is funded by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) grant.