McDowell High School seniors interested in a health care career will take part in a credit-based internship with local medical providers called Project PROMISE.

Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) is assisting with the project as part of its WNC Rural Health Initiative. Bryan McClure, regional administrator manager for Yancey, Mitchell and McDowell Counties, will oversee Project PROMISE, while MedServe Fellow Misty Cox, a McDowell county native interested in rural healthcare, will coordinate the project directly.

On Wednesday, Sept. 21, Cox and McClure spent the day at MHS talking to nearly 200 health science students about the Project PROMISE starting in the spring semester of 2017.

Project PROMISE, (Providing Rural Opportunities in Medicine through Inspiring Service and Education) began in 2014, spearheaded by two UNC Chapel Hill medical students (Rivers Woodward and Brittany Papworth). Originally supported by an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, and still hosted by The Center For Rural Health Innovation, Project PROMISE seeks to be a locally-run and community-sustained effort through which we collectively invest in the health of our region.

Project PROMISE will select high school seniors from MHS who show interest in a healthcare profession and will provide them mentorship and healthcare experience in their home county with real providers who have dedicated their time to these student learners.

Participants will receive school credit through participation in an internship from 2:30-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, for a semester, where they rotate through different medical modalities and specialties in order to gain a wealth of experience and knowledge.

MAHEC is excited about further growing this project in the local communities which will strengthen the “pipeline”, encouraging local youth to pursue careers in healthcare and training the next generation of healthcare providers.

If you would like more information regarding Project PROMISE or would like to make a donation, please visit www.wncpromise.org.

Students interested in the program can obtain an application from their health science teachers at McDowell High School. All applications will be due by 2 p.m. on November 14. If you are a physician or healthcare provider interested in precepting students for shadowing with Project PROMISE, please contact Bryan McClure at (828) 767-0066 or Bryan.McClure@mahec.net, or Misty Cox at misty.cox@mahec.net.