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WATERTOWN — Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization’s (FDRHPO) Health Workforce MASH Camp is back this summer and is offering a no-cost, hands-on learning experience for area students interested in healthcare career fields.

Students who are interested in registering for the Summer MASH Camps are encouraged to apply online by visiting Online applications are due by May 20.

MASH — Medical Academy of Science and Health — Camp is a unique opportunity for students in grades 8-12 to experience and explore the healthcare industry in an interactive way. By participating in hands-on activities that highlight various career opportunities, students learn about the educational requirements, skills, typical job duties and personal qualities of specific healthcare professions.

“The excitement this year for our summer sessions is incredible. This program is extremely beneficial to students who are interested in learning more about healthcare roles,” said Beth Solar, workforce outreach manager at FDRHPO. “This summer students can look forward to exploring different departments within the hospitals and witnessing our local healthcare professionals provide care to our very own community members.”

Each of the sessions, which run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., will help answer questions and provide students with a path to explore their career options in depth. Regardless of facility placement, each day will be different and provide interesting, thought-provoking exercises and real-life experiences, including interactive sessions with local Emergency Medical

Services and the LifeNet helicopter crew. Students may choose from any of the following sessions:

■ River Hospital – July 9-11

■ Samaritan Medical Center – Session one – July 15-17

■ Carthage Area Hospital – July 16-18

■ Samaritan Medical Center – Session two – July 29-31

■ Gouverneur Hospital – July 23-25

■ Lewis County Health System – Aug. 19-21

A student from the Winter MASH Camp that was held at Carthage Area hospital said, “I really enjoyed MASH Camp. I think that the hospital environment is amazing, and the people really are educated in their jobs. This experience really allowed me to learn about other medical jobs and more about myself.”

Due to our region’s rural location in the far northern corner of New York state, recruiting and retaining an adequate supply of healthcare professionals has always been a struggle for our local providers.

For years, however, FDRHPO has been committed to assisting with this process through the work of its long-term regional Recruitment, Retention and Education (RREC) program.

FDRHPO is dedicated to building a strong regional healthcare workforce by actively engaging with local schools, participating in career fairs, and promoting a range of educational and career training programs. Our efforts are aimed at continuously enhancing healthcare excellence within the community.

In addition to local hospitals, FDRHPO partners with the Workforce Development Institute (WDI) for funding to make MASH Camp a free program for area student to participate in. For more information about the MASH Camp experience, visit, email or call 315-755-2020 ext. 25.

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