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Country Day students TAP into their potential to fulfill medical careers

Five Cincinnati Country Day School juniors were recently selected to participate in the yearlong citywide Tap MD and TAP HC programs. Krithika Dama (Mason), Kourtni Hamilton (Norwood), Marissa Handler (Loveland), Kirstin Hayes (West Chester), and Christopher Langenbahn (Mason) will soon begin participating in monthly learning experiences in the world of medicine and health care.

Offered through The Health Collaborative's Workforce Innovation Department, these programs are highly competitive and aimed at sparking interest in medical careers. Tap MD typically has more activities that are tailored for students more interested in being physicians, while Tap HC offers opportunities to explore a variety of careers in healthcare, from occupational therapy to public health to healthcare administration.

Tap MD"Our students have always loved participating in the TAP programs – observing surgery, visiting emergency rooms and talking with specialists," said Sarah Beyreis, director of college counseling and external opportunities. "This is the largest group we've ever had admitted to the programs. It's quite competitive to be admitted – students have to be strong in the classroom and out, committed to the kind of care for others that makes for great medical practitioners."

The classes are made up of a variety of schools in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana. This is the 10th year of the TAP MD program, with a current class of 65 students and the 4th year of the TAP HC program, with a current class of 35 students. Each program runs monthly January through December 2021. "No medical community can survive without a strong workforce, and it is an ongoing process to maintain it," shared Heleena McKinney, manager of Healthcare Workforce Innovation. "Data shows that students who go into healthcare careers often stay in - or eventually return to - their hometowns. Therefore, even during a time of worldwide crisis, we should not underestimate the importance of career pipeline programs for Greater Cincinnati's future."

The programs have had to drastically pivot due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as hospitals and medical facilities are no letting in non-essential staff, although the hospitals and departments with which the Health Collaborative partners with have figured out ways to incorporate virtual events for now.

For more information about TAP, please visit https://taphealth.healthcollab.org.