Adena Health Focus June 01, 2017

Local Students Get Head Start on Medical Careers


Do you remember your senior year of high school? Were you excited about what the future held? Or were you lost wondering what would come next? For six high school seniors, a look into their own future is happening now.

It’s called the AIM Program, a unique partnership between Adena Health System and Chillicothe High School. The program gives students with an interest in medicine a first-hand opportunity to experience their future careers.

Each month, students in the program visited one of six Adena clinics and specialty services including: Palliative Care, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Dermatology, Internal Medicine, and Oncology.

The students spent the morning in the hospital or a clinic, then in the afternoon came together for a hands-on lesson in Adena’s PACCAR Medical Education Center’s Simulation Lab. Between their monthly trips to Adena, the students keep journals about what they are learning and various other assignments.

The program’s creator, Tracy Coats, RN, wanted to find a way to engage children with an interest in medicine as a way to encourage them to stay in their hometown. “I was talking with Dr. Lois Jetty, of Adena Pediatrics, a couple of years ago about what we could do to help bring more physicians to town, even ways to bring kids back and show them this is a great place to practice,” said Coats. “Adena and Chillicothe City Schools were willing to do something outside the box, and this is just the right fit.”

To participate in the AIM Program, as student must be accepted into this competitive honors course. Students are required to be a member of the National Honor Society, and must submit an essay about their interest in a career in Medicine.

“Chillicothe High School is expanding the walls of educational opportunity beyond our building,” said CHS Principal Dr. Jeff Fisher. “It’s one thing to talk to students about opportunities, but it’s another to let them see what’s happening in the real world.”

The program’s first group of six honor students is especially grateful for the chance to learn about something that interests them in an environment that gives them greater learning opportunities.

“I’ve always wanted to be in Medicine, and this gave me exposure to several specialties,” said CHS Senior Gabriella Lapurga. “I could be thinking I want to do Dermatology now, but going through this, I’m learning about other specialties and may find something that interests me even more.”

AIM participant Zach Ayres added, “The AIM Program inspired me not only to become a doctor and work in the field of Medicine, but to do so right here in Chillicothe at Adena Health System.”

Adena is already working to build on the first-year success of the AIM Program and wishes its first class of graduates much success in their future careers.  

2017 AIM Program Class 

Zach Ayres

Megan Coats

Gabby Lap

Maggie McCorkle

Sydney Tackett

Adam West