February 1, 2023

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – CoxHealth has partnered with Ozark Public Schools to create a Health Sciences Academy that gives students hands-on experience and training in health care.
Hundreds of Ozark High School students will get a taste of what it’s like to work in health care with the launch of the health sciences academy at the Ozark Innovation Center. With the growing need for health care professionals, students interested in becoming doctors, nurses, or technicians can get hands-on training from current professionals. The Health sciences academy offers students experience in health care and helps them get a step ahead as they move forward in their academic and professional careers.
“They’re able to graduate plus, they’ll have a high school diploma plus something else,” said CoxHealth Vice President of Human Resources Andy Hedgpath. “So it could be college credit towards a career. It could be just greater exposure to the industry they want to go into. And it could even be certification coming out of our program.”
Students looking to pursue careers as doctors or nurses or technicians will have their hands on actual equipment used in hospitals in a simulated environment.
“Inside the facility, you will see a surgical or suite. You will see a clinic, pharmacy, a lab, and then all the equipment that goes along with that,” said Hedgpath. So you see an MRI, you will see ultrasonography equipment, and maybe casting materials for kids for like an orthopedic clinic, and an ambulance.”
CoxHealth leaders say they are excited to see students have the opportunity to explore the healthcare industry through this program.
“We have the opportunity to show kids their amazing careers in our community,” said Hedgpath. “They don’t have to leave our region. Through partnerships with OTC and Missouri State and all of our other academic institutions, there is a way to have these kids coming out of high school at a point where they could then enter into our accelerated programs at Cox College and, in some instances, go straight into the workforce with very well paying jobs and careers that they can be proud of.”
The academy is located in the old Fasco Building. The academy also offers agriculture, journalism, and culinary arts training, helping students become career-ready.
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