Health Careers Diversity and Recruitment

"All healthcare agencies in the Northwest AHEC 17-county region have a diverse and culturally competent workforce at all health profession levels. We strive to ensure that every K-12 student in the region is aware of and excited about the broad spectrum of health careers as viable and attainable career options"

Northwest AHEC is committed to diversity and cultural competency not only due to its diverse constituency but recognizes that ultimately the future health outcomes of its constituency will be dependent upon a diverse and culturally competent workforce. To that end, Northwest AHEC offers the following programs.

Health Career Programs


Project SEARCH Academy (Rising 8th graders and rising 12th graders): Student Education, Awareness, and Recruitment for Careers in Health

Project SEARCH is a six day enrichment program for rising 8th grade students designed to recruit, educate, prepare and enhance the academic science qualifications of middle school students as they transition to high school. The program includes a 1 week in-residence component on the campus of Wake Forest University where students work closely with WFU Biology department faculty, students and staff. During the program, students build on their past experiences and current knowledge in the areas of cell and microbiology all while gaining a better understanding of the terminology of science. Throughout the week, students participate in guided career facilitation sessions with a WS/FC high school guidance counselor who assists the students in preparing a plan for the remainder of high school and their post-secondary education. To conclude the program, students participate in a twenty hour shadowing experience with a health professional and are tutored once a week by HOSA students, all in their home community. Cost of attending the camp is $400. Please contact Mrs. Michelle Adams at 336.713.7726 for more information.

Camp Med (High School)

Camp Med is a one-week summer day camp designed to recruit, educate and prepare high school students for careers in the health profession. Each camp's logistics are the result of collaboration between the local school system and the local hospital. Students receive the NC Health Careers Manual which provides information for 88 careers. The program specifically aims to identify at least fifteen (15) diverse high school students in grades 9-12 who have an interest in and the academic potential for a career in the health sciences. These students are chosen from the seventeen (17) counties that make up the Northwest AHEC region.9-12 CERTL/Northwest AHEC Mini-Fellowship in Research Program. There is no cost for this program. Dates vary by county. Please contact your science teacher or guidance counselor for more information.

Future Leaders in Health Care Annual Conference (High School)

The Future Leaders in Health Care Conference targets high school students that have a strong interest in healthcare as a future career. The conference includes educational workshops and discussions on specific topics like leadership development, public health issues, cultural diversity in healthcare, adolescent health, volunteerism, bioterrorism, and more. Students also have the opportunity to network with several colleges and universities and healthcare professionals.

This conference is part of the NC AHEC mission to improve the supply and distribution of the healthcare workforce by providing support at every link of the educational pipeline. Focus is placed on minority and disadvantaged students because statistics show that in all health professions, minority populations continue to be under-represented relative to the overall population in the state. The United States Department of Health and Human Services states that "increasing the number of minority health professionals is viewed as a partial solution to improving access to care. Several studies have shown that under-represented minority health profession graduates are more likely to enter primary care specialties and to voluntarily practice in or near designated primary care workforce shortage areas."

For more information on Future Leaders please contact your science teacher or guidance counselor.

Related Community Programs

SciCamp (Elementary)

SciCamp is a day camp from July 14 through August 8, 2014 at SciWorks in Winston-Salem. Half day camp (9am-12pm) for rising kindergarten and first grades and full day camp (9am-4pm) for rising 2nd through 6th graders. The cost for K-1st group is $100 per week for SciWorks members and $125 per week for non-members. For the 2nd-3rd grade and the 4th-6th grade groups the cost is $190 per week for SciWorks members and $220 per week for non-members. Please call 336.767.6730 for more information.

Summer Enrichment Program (Elementary)

Winston-Salem Forsyth County School System hosts the Summer Enrichment Program at Brunson Elementary School in Winston-Salem for 5 weeks beginning June 23rd through July 25th, 2014. Please contact Mr. Brad Oliver at 336.748.4070 or email for more information.

Awareness Activities and Programs

Northwest AHEC provides technical assistance and partnerships for the following activities/programs:

Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), Regions 5 & 7 Annual Fall Leadership Retreat

The primary focus and mission of HOSA is to promote career opportunities in health care. Therefore, Northwest AHEC has partnered with HOSA for the past three years on this health career-oriented activity as well as hosted it. Participants include both educators and students who have an opportunity to learn from health care professionals at WFBMC through a variety of specific departmental presentations and tours. Additionally, the retreat focuses on topics such as leadership, college admissions and medical careers. Seventy educators, responsible for grades 9–12, from 25 counties (17 of the counties are within the Northwest AHEC region), as well as, students from these grades and same counties participated in the 2012 N.C. HOSA Regions 5 & 7 Fall Leadership Retreat.

Sisters in Science Annual Symposium

The American Medical Women’s Association WFSM Chapter continued to collaborate with Northwest AHEC to implement the Sisters in Science Annual Symposium. This program provides a rare opportunity for high school girls to interact one-on-one or in small groups with women in medicine and science. This year’s event registered 100 high school girls from Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

Student National Medical Association (SNMA) Annual Pre-Medical Student Conference

Northwest AHEC and the WFSM chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) continued to partner and implemented the 2013 Annual SNMA Premedical Student Conference. The purpose of this activity is to lay the foundation to increase the number of minority medical school applicants matriculating into the four NC medical schools – Wake Forest, UNC-Chapel Hill, East Carolina and Duke – to more accurately reflect the rich diversity of the communities in which they will ultimately serve. Northwest AHEC was pleased to provide staff support and funding for this event which enrolled 221 diverse potential medical students.

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Annual Science Fair

Northwest AHEC has continued to be a supportive partner of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools’ Annual Science Fair. Rather than supporting the participants during the day at SciWorks, this year we formally hosted the middle and high school science fairs in our Deacon Tower office space and subsequently hosted the formal luncheon awards presentation at our Bridger Field House facility. More than 99 students, parents, high school science teachers/administrators and local scientists participated in this annual WS/FCS Science Fair.

Other Resources


Health Careers Manual

A great resource specifically designed for the state of North Carolina. The North Carolina Health Careers manual provides information for over 90 different health occupations including job descriptions, average salaries, NC state post-secondary institutions, financial aid opportunities, etc.


Health Careers YouTube Channel - videos of health professionals describing their duties and training.

Quick Reference

Northwest AHEC

Phone 336-713-7700
FAX 336-713-7701


To view and register for scheduled activities and online courses please visit
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Last Updated: 02-29-2016
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.