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Students interested in health careers can apply for the 2017 Village Health Occupations Program

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Media Contact:
Stacy Smith,, (907) 364-4514 (Juneau, SEARHC Public Relations Specialist)

SITKA, January 31, 2017 – SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) is inviting Native high school students to apply for the 2017 Ethel Lund Village Health Occupations Program (VHOP) that takes place Monday, April 10 through Friday, April 14, 2017, in Sitka.

Each year, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) selects several Southeast-area Native students interested in health careers for VHOP, and the students spend a week at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital learning about different health careers and educational opportunities. Participation numbers over the past several years have been excellent and included students from high schools all over Southeast Alaska.

The goal is to cultivate and encourage an interest in healthcare, and hopefully, healthcare-related careers grow out of those efforts. The health field is growing, which means plenty of job opportunities for those with the proper training. Additionally, health care related careers usually offer good pay and employee benefits, as well as the satisfaction of helping others.

Some of the activities for this year’s program include team building with the student cohort, job shadowing with health care professionals at SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, hands-on activities with SEARHC dental staff, and training at the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka. The program will conclude with a graduation ceremony.

The deadline for applications from enrolled tribal members is Friday, March 10, 2017. Each application must include the student’s most recent school transcript and two letters of recommendation.

For more information about the VHOP program, contact SEARHC Recruiter, Freddie Olin at, 907.463.6609, or visit

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