The goal of the AZ-MASH program is to create an educational program in rural Arizona to address the shortage of health care professionals in rural communities.
If we are going to change rural health care, we are going to have to stop trying to convince the doctors to love rural Arizona. We are going to have to convince the people who love rural communities to become doctors, nurses, pharmacists, x-ray technicians, optometrists, physical therapists, speech pathologists and audiologists. A program like AZ-MASH can help do that.
Local area students will be exposed to an overview of health care to determine if a career in medicine is a career they would like to pursue. Many students think you have two career options in health care; they can be a doctor or a nurse. The AZ-MASH experience will expose them to the many different areas of health care, even including a look at veterinarian medicine.
2010 Pilot project…
In the summer of 2010, six Willcox, AZ high school students participated in a two week hands-on learning environment to explore the many potential health care careers. The Willcox Against Substance Abuse (WASA) organization partnered with AZRDC to provide local logistics and staff assistance. The Northern Cochise County Community Hospital and many other Willcox health care professionals agreed to help provide the medical professionals to be the trainers. The students received their CPR certification, performed EKG’s, learned how to suture, how to give injections, how to cast a broken bone and watched an animal surgery. The group visited a dentist office, ambulance service, rehab facilities, hospital lab, chiropractor, emergency helicopter, pharmacist, radiology, county health office, hospice, and nursing home. The project was well received and they are interested in participating again.
Summer of 2012…
Havasu Regional Medical Center in Lake Havasu City and Mount Graham Regional Medical Center in Safford will host AZ-M.A.S.H. programs. AZRDC will provide technical assistance to the local committees.