The Health Science Scholars at McPherson College are taking the concepts they learn in the classroom and applying them to real-world workplace situations as part of their first signature outreach experience. The students are working with administrators of Disability Supports of the Great Plains in McPherson to develop and manage a new set of training videos for its employees.
McPherson College launched the Health Science program this fall, and offers majors in health science and health care management. The academic program focuses on creating health-related career pathways for students while engaging them in the community. Partnerships with local and regional health care agencies, like the one with McPherson Center for Health announced last year, provide students with hands-on educational opportunities in a variety of health care settings.
While every student will have the opportunity for field experience, students selected as Health Science Scholars receive scholarships and participate in signature community outreach throughout the academic year. Seven students received the Health Care Scholar awards this year.
“This outreach opportunity allows students to experience how an organization responds to and addresses issues of quality assurance and risk management,” Nick Baldetti, executive director of health care initiatives, said. “The outreach opportunity speaks to the value proposition of this program. Students are building a degree based on experiential learning and when they graduate will have first-hand experience of real-world issues.”
The students recently visited Disability Supports for an orientation, tour, and to become more familiar with the organization. They will continue to work with the staff to plan and develop a series of five training videos that will be completed by the end of the semester.
“Disability Supports is excited for this new partnership with McPherson College,” Sheila Goscha, vice president and COO of Disability Supports of the Great Plains, said. “We have been pleased to employ many McPherson College students over the years and are looking forward to this innovative, exciting opportunity to participate in this community-based health care educational program. The videos that will be developed by the students will be used for ongoing training of current and new employees.”
Baldetti, who joined McPherson College in August, is the former public health director and health officer of Reno County. Under his leadership, the health department was named the Public Health County of the Year and recognized three times by the Governor’s Public Health Conference for Promising Innovative Practices in Public Health. He has a doctorate in health economics from Creighton University and master’s degree in health and human performance and M.B.A. from Pittsburg State University. He has taught at the University of Kansas Medical School in Wichita, Wichita State University, and Creighton University.
“I have always been interested in building systems grounded in access to health care in a rural setting,” he said. “The Health Science program at McPherson College gives me an opportunity to continue to work on access from a different realm – training future professionals.”
Baldetti is developing other outreach opportunities for students in the future, including management and involvement in flu clinics and vaccination clinics in the county as well as opportunities outside of the county with mental health, hospice, and long-term care organizations.