Published on May 15, 2022

Partnership will help prep rural students for health care careers

Essentia Health is bringing health science curriculum to 25 high schools across our service area to increase student awareness of health care careers and prepare students for post-secondary health care programs. In collaboration with Minnesota HOSA and STEM Fuse, Essentia will work with schools to create HOSA student chapter organizations and provide students career-exploration opportunities in health care fields.

“We want to get students aware of and excited about health care professions at an early age and provide them the academic and work opportunities to pursue those careers,” said Michelle Ufford, workforce strategy director for Essentia.

Minnesota HOSA prepares students to enter the health care field. From middle school to college, HOSA offers competitions, conferences and personal introductions to professionals — providing unique experiences to empower students to enter the health care field as leaders and innovators. The aim is to build communities between students and provide a space to learn, grow and develop the skills they need to enter the ever-changing field of health care.

HOSA’s state director, Summer Hagy, is excited about the partnership’s potential.

“This is a great opportunity for all three of our organizations to work together to provide high school students a chance to explore different career paths in health care and introduce them to HOSA so they may further their skills and knowledge for the future,” Hagy said.

Along with STEM Fuse, Essentia will equip districts with a health science curriculum and access to a lifetime digital portfolio for students to capture their skills and experiences, and find internships or other work opportunities at Essentia. The curriculum will be customizable, allowing teachers to tailor it specifically to the needs of their classrooms. Teachers also will be offered training and ongoing support as they implement the curriculum.

“Given the talent shortage and critical nature of our health care field, we wanted to invest in our next generation of talent,” said Carter Tatge, CEO of STEM Fuse. “Essentia’s unique talent pipeline-development strategy is the perfect partnership to make an impact.”

STEM Fuse is a leading K-16 EdTech provider focused on increasing student awareness and readiness for college and their careers. STEM Fuse provides students with a platform to plan, prepare and pursue their ongoing education and careers. Headquartered in South Dakota and with a long-history of providing educational services to students in the Upper Midwest, STEM Fuse is committed to helping prepare students for health care and technical careers with a focus on rural awareness and education.