Health Care Career Day preps future professionals

Kathleen Cunningham

Health Care Career Day will make its way to Missouri Southern Friday.

This will the first time it will be held at the Anderson Justice Building for high school counselors and science teachers.

“Our goal of Career Day for high school counselors and science teachers [is] many exciting careers that exist in health care today,” said Dr. Charles Bentlage, chief medical officer at Freeman Hospital. “They will inspire students to consider a health care career.”

Created in 2001, the Four States Health Professionals Consortium created and developed the event. It is also sponsoring the day, which is designed to direct students toward health care professions.

“We want attendees to understand that there are a vast amount of clinical opportunities,” said Carol Smith, network development at St. John’s Regional Medical Center, “but there are also many non-clinical professions in the fields of information technology, health information systems, nutritional/dietary services and clinical engineering that are available in health care.”

The focus of the Career Day is geared toward juniors and seniors “who will become potential applicants for these future health care profession,” Smith said.

To start the event, Lesley L. Porth, vice president of health improvement at Missouri Hospital Association, will be the keynote speaker.

The title of her speech is “The Future of Health Care Opportunities.”

After the presentation, sessions will be held, which showcase the different careers.

A total of 12 sessions will be in the morning, and there will be some sessions in the afternoon.

There will also be exhibitors.

“There are approximately 25 exhibitors that will depict various health care careers, most by educational institutions and hospitals,” Bentlage said.

Gary Little, vice president of human resources at St. John’s Regional Medical Center, will be the closing speaker at the Career Day. His speech is titled “Millennial Generation’s Ethics.”

Smith said there are provider shortages in many areas, including physicians, nursing, pharmacy and radiological technicians.

She also said because of the baby boom generation aging, people are looking for health care in the future, in which the current shortages are becoming more critical.

“That’s why we must focus on several areas when addressing this challenge,” Smith said. “It is evident more health care providers are needed now and in the future to provide services to them and the elderly that [are in] need much of the health care today.”

The first Health Care Career Day will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday.

A complimentary lunch is being provided for attendees.