MASH Camp Connects Local Students with Health Careers

Kona Community Hospital (KCH) and Ke Anuenue Area Health Education Center (AHEC) join forces again this summer to host their fifth MASH Camp, or Medical Academy of Science and Health, on July 19 and 20. Kohala Hospital will have its second MASH Camp on July 21 and 22. It’s a twist on summer camp for kids interested in health care. Students in eighth, ninth and tenth grade spend two days in the real world of hospital health care.

“We see this as a unique opportunity for our youth to explore a career in healthcare by working with our professional staff who is excited to share their knowledge and experience with the kids,” commented Earl Greenia, CEO of Kona Community Hospital and Kohala Hospital.

The free program includes a two-day camp, lunch and snacks, a set of scrubs and a certificate of completion. The students explore 10 different health care careers including diagnostic imaging, radiation oncology, orthopedic surgery, laboratory, respiratory therapy, rehabilitation services and more. They are also given beneficial information about occupations in these fields such as years of education required, salary ranges, and the pros and cons about the jobs.

Nicole Moore, Executive Director for Ke Anuenue AHEC, notes that MASH Camp helps young people to consider career opportunities they might not otherwise be aware of. “Without the support of Kona Community Hospital, we would not be able to reach this important target group with such an innovative, hands-on program. Kona Community Hospital was the first site in the state of Hawaii to host M.A.S.H. Camp and we have worked with Kohala Hospital, East Hawaii, Huli Au Ola AHEC (Maui County) and Na Lei Wili AHEC (Kauai County) to offer more MASH Camps in other areas, because of its initial success.”

“Students must write an essay stating why they want to attend MASH Camp,” explained Emily Mendez-Bryant, Community Relations Director of Kona Community Hospital and Kohala Hospital. “The essay must be included with the application form which is due on July 9 for Kona and July 12 for Kohala and our selection committee determines the participants. We are eager to see the response.”

For more information or an application, contact 322-6960.

Founded in 1914, KCH is a 94-bed full-service hospital with 24-hour emergency services that supports the west region of the island of Hawaii. It is a member of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, a special agency of the state of Hawaii established in 1996. It is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. KCH is dedicated to providing and enhancing accessible comprehensive healthcare services to the West Hawaii community. Ke Anuenue is a non-profit organization that supports health career development in our Big Island youth.