State grant will help Douglas County kids pursue health-related fields

(KPIC image)

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- A state grant will help Douglas County students with an interest in health-related careers.

The idea is to prepare kids for any career in the medical field.

To make it work, the State of Oregon is giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Douglas Healthcare Career Pathways Program.

"Health fields are an area where students can enter into where there are very good paying jobs without having to spend 12 years in college," said Sutherlin High School science teacher Pam Doyle.

The program will allow students to explore different health careers or get them ready for medical training after high school.

Douglas Education Service District says kids can get a good job while staying in the area.

"Our goal is to grow our own,” said ESD’s Analicia Nicholson. “We got wonderful kids in Douglas County who want to stay and have their lives here next to where their families currently are, so here's an opportunity for them."

Teachers in the district also say there's a need for medical professionals throughout the county.

“Healthcare is something we need from the time we're born to the time we die, and we need our people to be willing to stay” said Doyle. “Right now, trying to just find a doctor is difficult."

Teachers say the state grant could give kids the confidence to enter the medical field.

"Anything that we can do to show these kids that they have the ability to do these careers, and to help them economically, by paying for some of their credits is a big push."

The grant will be used over a year and a half, so students can become medical professionals throughout Douglas County.

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