Health Science Connection for Secondary & Post-Secondary Educators
MAY 2015

You have been referred to our e-newsletter because you work with students who may be interested in a healthcare career.

Montana AHEC/ORH supports efforts to improve healthcare across Montana. One of our 3 key objectives is to help students explore careers in healthcare. We hope that this newsletter may become a great resource for you and your students. This month of May will focus on nurses in recognition of National Nurses Day on May 16th and International Nurses Day on May 12th!

National Nurses Week 2015
"During National Nurses Week and throughout the year, ANA is proud to celebrate the role nurses play in delivering the highest level of quality care to their patients. The National Nurses Week 2015 theme "Ethical Practice. Quality Care." recognizes the importance of ethics in nursing and acknowledges the strong commitment, compassion and care nurses display in their practice and profession. The theme is an important part of ANA's 2015 Year of Ethics outreach to promote and advocate for the rights, health and safety of nurses and patients.For more information regarding National Nurses Week, see:  National Nurses Week
2015 - Nurses: A Force for Change: Care Effective, Cost Effective
"International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. The International Council of Nurses commemorates this important day each year with the production and distribution of the International Nurses' Day (IND) Kit. The IND Kit 2015 contains educational and public information materials, for use by nurses everywhere." International Council of Nurses

MT CAHN's Nursing Education and Practice Summit
*Please pass along* Educators, practice partners, and college students in nursing - Registration for MT CAHN's Nursing Education and Practice Summit will be available at 


Nurse's Notes: Increased Education Can Improve Quality, Safety for Patients
"Hospital patients today are of higher acuity - more advanced age, more complex health problems, more acutely ill - than ever before. In addition, nurses are working more and more in roles in the community requiring them to be more autonomous in their practice and to be better able to educate the diverse populations outside the hospital. Many nurses are entering advanced practice fields and practicing as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists. In light of these changes, it is of utmost importance that nurses be well-prepared for the complexity of care they face." Missoulian
Montana Becomes 13th State to Allow Terminally Ill to Access Investigational Medications
"Governor Steve Bullock has signed SB 142-the Montana Right To Try Act-into law. The Right to Try Act allows doctors to prescribe medicines to the terminally ill that are being used in clinical trials but are not yet on pharmacy shelves. Right To Try expands access to potentially life-saving treatments years before patients would normally be able to access them. SB 142 was sponsored by Senator Cary Smith." Goldwater Institute

"Health care professionals are confident a new model of collaboration between educators and practicing providers can help mitigate problems with the shortage in Montana's healthcare workforce." Independent Record
"This chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the 10 largest occupational groups in the United States, plotted against their mean annual pay - nurses are up there making $70,000 a year, and all the rest are way lower.." Vox
Montana Roadmap to Nursing Careers
Help students navigate their way through nursing careers options in Montana - Montana Roadmap to Nursing Careers

Defining the Dimensions of Wellness - The purpose of this lesson plan is to introduce students to the dimensions of wellness using small group discussion and collaborative activity.
Outline for an Integrated First-Aid Unit - Please use this as an outline for a lesson plan to integrate First-Aid.

At the 11th Annual Montana HOSA: Future Health Professionals State Leadership Conference (SLC) students competed in 24 offered competitive team, leadership, skills, and emergency preparedness events, many of which required prior online testing (averaged into final score). Friday afternoon, all the students bused over to the MSU campus and the molecular bioscience labs on Tech Blvd. to attend 4 of 20 educational symposiums hosted by MSU faculty staff and local professionals.


New state officers were elected: President, Anika Melzer-Roush (Missoula Sentinel HS), and Co-Presidents, Lauren Higgins (Bozeman HS) and Magnolia Chinn (Missoula Sentinel HS). Darby Lacey, former National HOSA Officer and MSU student, was recognized for her service as state officer coach.  Lynn Brooks, Board President, is stepping down and was recognized for his 11 years of service to Montana HOSA.


HOSA provides a unique program of leadership development, motivation, and recognition exclusively for secondary and collegiate students enrolled in health science education and biomedical science programs or have interests in pursuing careers in health professions.  HOSA is not a club for a few members. Rather, it is a powerful instructional tool which is integrated into the Health Science Education and health science related core curriculum and classroom. HOSA's mission is especially critical when considering the acute shortage of qualified workers for Montana's healthcare industry. The 2015 National HOSA theme is "LEAD," and our Montana students are the next generation of healthcare industry leaders.


If you are interested in starting a HOSA chapter at your high school, contact Martha Robertson,

More information at


2015 Summer Med Start Camps

These camps are designed for incoming high school Juniors/Seniors who are interested in exploring healthcare careers.  The camps provide numerous hands on activities, job shadows, and introduce students to college campus life. AHEC received over 90 scholarship applications and will be making selection and notifying applicants in the next two weeks. Additional information can also be accessed at:




June 14 - 18 Missoula: University of Montana (UM)

July 12 - 16 Billings: Montana State University Billings (MSUB)
July 19 - 23 Butte: Montana Tech
August 2 - 6 Great Falls: University of Great Falls & Great Falls College


REACH is an acronym for Research and Explore Awesome Careers in Healthcare. The regional AHECs set up a partnership between local hospitals and high schools to provide students the opportunity to visit their local hospital and participate in hands-on activities in a variety of departments.


REACH Camp Tentative Schedule


May 29: Eureka GEAR UP students (Kalispell Regional Medical Center)

LeAnn Ogilvie is a registered nurse (RN) who has focused her career on nursing education. A RN provides and coordinates patient care, educates patients and the public about various health conditions, and provides advice and emotional support to patients and their family members. However, since nursing can be such a diverse healthcare field, an RN can transform their career into a variety of specialties.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean salary range for a Registered Nurse degree is $57,980 to $62,720 while the average national salary is $66,640.


How and why did you choose this career?

A. Interestingly enough, I chose nursing because I was in a bachelor's program for microbiology and took a job in a student health service lab at my university where I quickly realized I would rather work with people than the specimens to come from people. I went to my advisor to transfer to pharmacy but discovered I would have to take a physics pre-requirement (not a strong suit for me). I literally walked across the hall to the nursing advisor and started the nursing program the next semester. It was the best decision/fate of my life!  Never did I imagine how diverse nursing is and how much impact I could have on other lives. I started my career in acute care, the majority of which was critical care in intensive care units and moved to nursing education, a leadership role as Director of Learning/Co-Magnet Program Director, Regional Program Manager of Telehealth and now Director of Telehealth.


What does a typical day in your work life look like?

A. Today, I am Director of Telehealth where I am creating infrastructure for better access to healthcare for Montanans. My day involves communicating and coordinating the pieces needed to help Montana hospitals improve access through technology. Can we connect patients with the providers they need for their unique situation without the patient having to travel, sometimes hundreds of miles? I believe we can. Through collaborations between direct care givers (nurses), information technologists, providers and the payers (insurance, CMS, etc.) we can improve access to quality care in our rural communities. I meet daily with providers, leaders and insurance companies to put pieces together to ensure the patient gets quality, safe, medical care in their home town.

What are your working conditions like?

A. My job now is a different type of stress than I had compared to being a direct care RN in intensive care. The pace is fast now but direct life and death situations are not in my hands any longer. However, I am expected to deliver a high quality product that is safe for patients throughout my region in a cost effective manner that improves our health systems. The stress of managing budget, ensuring quality, creating buy-in, and promoting a new way of receiving medical care is alive and well.  


What educational requirements are needed for your career?

A. A master's degree in health care were preferred, bachelor's degree required for my current role. This role requires a great deal of business savvy blended with understanding of delivery of health care. Nurses are naturals for these roles as we are the most trusted profession in the US. I firmly believe if any profession can change the delivery of healthcare and innovate for change, it's nursing.


What skills and abilities are necessary in your profession?

A. Communication, communication, communication!! The base of managing any change is effective communication. Nurses are by nature, great communicators because we are great listeners! Taking the time to listen the concerns of rural health leaders, workers, and most importantly patients is required for this role. An understanding of current healthcare issues, reimbursement models, quality drivers and strategic goals are also critical to this role.


Any final thoughts?

A. Nursing is the largest profession in the world. People stay in hospitals and skilled facilities because they need NURSING care. They cannot care for themselves. Nurses need to take a lead in the delivery of healthcare, as we understand the issues better than anyone. We spend the most time with people from the very beginning of life through the last day so who better to lead the way? We have the BEST and most diverse job in the world!!,. (2015). Registered Nurses. Retrieved 4 May 2015, from


Ogilvie, L. (2015, May 1). Email interview.

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Please contact us with your comments, ideas, questions or projects you'd like to see highlighted in future issues of this e-newsletter. And thank you for the work you do every day to inspire and support public health initiatives and healthcare in Montana!


Renee Harris -
Montana Area Health Education Center (AHEC)