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UW Summer Camp Prepares Students for Careers in Health Care Field

young man in lab coat using swab in the mouth of a young woman in lab coat
Tevan Chu, of Cheyenne, performs a throat culture to test for the presence of bacteria in his “patient” Natasha Heins, of Cheyenne. The two were among 83 Wyoming high school students who participated in the Wyoming Area Health Education Center Health Care Careers Summer Camp. (Wyoming AHEC Photo)

Eighty-three Wyoming high school students were exposed to a variety of health care career options during the sixth annual Wyoming Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Health Care Careers Summer Camp at the University of Wyoming.

Students participated in one of two, five-day sessions in mid-July. The camp provided students with an opportunity to explore numerous health care careers through interactive activities, observation and presentations by health care professionals. Students learned about the requirements necessary to pursue a health care career as well as the numerous job opportunities that will be available throughout Wyoming upon completion of their training.

At the camp, the students investigated careers in such fields as medicine, nursing, optometry, pharmacy, radiography, speech-language pathology and ultrasonography. Activities took place on the UW campus, at Laramie’s Ivinson Memorial Hospital, Snowy Range Vision Center and Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne.

“Wyoming, like many rural states, is facing a critical shortage of health care workers,” says Marivern Easton, Wyoming AHEC director. “This shortage will worsen as the baby boomer generation ages.”

The key, Easton says, is to identify, recruit, train and retain Wyoming residents. 

“If we can generate enthusiasm among high school-aged students and support them as they pursue education and training opportunities, we have a much stronger possibility of eventually employing them as health care workers throughout Wyoming,” she says.

Students had opportunities to study anatomy in UW’s human cadaver laboratory; use ultrasonography to view various images; make an insect repellent stick in a UW School of Pharmacy lab; and practice suturing skills on chicken breasts at Ivinson Memorial Hospital.

“AHEC Health Care Careers Summer Camp was absolutely fantastic,” says Tanasha Moore, of Rock Springs. “It not only helped bring light to my specific interests in the medical field, but it also gave me skills that I will remember and utilize for the rest of my life.”

“The AHEC camp was like a dream come true to me,” adds Amelia Smith, from Riverton. “I got to learn more things about different health careers, and I’m very thankful for that.”

Funding for Wyoming AHEC comes largely from a Health Resources and Services Administration grant. Wyoming AHEC partners with the following entities: Ivinson Memorial Hospital, Laramie County Community College, Snowy Range Vision Center, UW College of Health Sciences, the Wyoming Center for Nursing and Health Care Partnerships, and the Wyoming State Office of Rural Health.

For more information, email Easton at or visit

Students participating in the camp, listed by hometown, were:

Arminto -- Kody Shepperson.

Banner -- Katherine Thiel.

Big Piney -- Haylee Hoffman.

Burlington -- Shamra Anderson.

Casper -- Taylor Delaney and Ella Reed.

Cheyenne -- Brook Bowcutt, Tevan Chu, Natasha Heins, Lauren Melchior, Thanh Nguyen, Jilleen Roadifer and Faith Wright.

Cody -- Taylour-Skye Vance.

Dayton -- Nikki Perfetti.

Douglas -- Rebecca Barker, Shyann Bennett, Kari Goold, Hannah Hansen, Shayla Ross, Grace Soske, Sydney Tigert and Xena Zamora.

man in scrubs and young man looking at screen while using equipment

Gage Brown, left, of Wheatland, receives instruction on how to remove a tumor from a patient during a simulated surgical procedure at Ivinson Memorial Hospital. (Wyoming AHEC Photo)

Gillette -- Britney Thompson.

Glenrock -- Casey Sebesta, Faith Sebesta and Olivia Sebesta.

Green River -- Valerie Barajas, Dioselyn Batista, Trey Curtis-Brown, Robyn Jauregui and Hannah Clare Thomas.

Kaycee -- Kaylene Enloe and Connor Malli.

Lander -- Karina Estep, Alexis Fontaine, Lily Gose, McKenzie Lilygren, Alexa Mazur and Li Platz.

Laramie -- Kate Dennis, Amy Gabriel, Mylanie Hidecker, Carlee Russow, Amber Stone, Sarah Wallace and Kyra Wulff.

Lingle -- Sierra Spears.

Moorcroft -- Jessica Trigg.

Mountain View -- Alix Walker.

Otto -- Sydney Horton.

Parkman -- Cydney Mullaney.

Powell -- Kiley Cannon, Claire Miner and Marie Ramier.

Ranchester -- Natalie Ziegenhorn.

Riverton -- Jordan Allen, McKenzie Becker, Meeghan Healy, Jenice Mihelich and Amelia Smith.

Rock Springs -- Alison Arnoldi, Elisa Dominguez-Gomez, Johnathan Even, Ashley Jessen, Jayda Jones, Brendan Kachnowski, Maria Leon-Villa and Tanasha Moore.

Sheridan -- Anna Miech.

Thermopolis -- Hannah Weyer.

Torrington -- Grace Fenn, Alexandria Kruger, Audrey Perry and Vanessa Ruiz.

Upton -- Annika Coberly and Elizabeth Stephens.

Wheatland -- Gage Brown, Avery Hanks and Madison Stafford.

Worland -- Laramie Boward, Jordan Emmett and Kylar LaBoy.


Contact Us

Institutional Communications
Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2929

Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window) Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)