OSU logo Oklahoma State University
Center for Health Sciences
Area Health Education Centers
Printer Friendly

Andrew Fosmire
Andrew Fosmire,

NwAHEC map
click to enlarge

Rural Health Projects, Inc.
Northwest Oklahoma State University
2929 E. Randolph, Room 130
Enid, Oklahoma 73701
580.213.3167 fax

Regional Centers | Northwest

Program Summary
We looked at our existing services and through a series of brain
storming sessions chose several areas for concentration. In
health career recruitment, the choice was made to directly
address the nursing shortage and implement a program for
elementary-age students. In continuing education, expansion of
the Certified Nurses Assistant (CNA) Appreciation Day was the
focus. For clinical education the consensus was to work closer
with the medical students doing "Kids into Health Careers".

Exploring Health Careers
Using a template developed by Nursing 2000 of Indianapolis IN,
the "Day in the Life of a Nurse" was customized to fit the needs
of high school students and hospitals in northwest Oklahoma.
This intensive job shadowing/mentoring program was so
popular that most participating hospitals requested a second
and third day. There was even a program request from
Southwest Medical Center in Liberal, Kansas.

To address the elementary student, a collaboration was
developed with Leonardo's Discovery Warehouse, a "hands on"
children’s science museum located in Enid. There were 15
different booths set up by local health professionals and
educators that allowed the children to get "Down and Dirty with
Medicine" handling some of the equipment used on a daily basis
and learning about these health professionals.

Supporting Health Professional Students
Medical school student support continues to play an important role. The
program was strengthened this year by more personnel contact with the
preceptors. We made preceptor visits to check progress of all the students,
assure their housing arrangements were adequate, and show the preceptors
they are a valued part of the students educational process. An orientation for
medical students and PA’s has expanded to include more information on local
attractions and community activities. Students also continue to participate in
"Kids into Health Careers" recruitment activities for their rural rotations.

CARE Project
The Caregiver Assistance through Relevant Education (CARE) Project focused on teaching care giving skills to persons who may or may not have any medical background yet find themselves caring for family members or friends in their own homes. This program was conducted throughout northwest Oklahoma, with large workshops in population centers and smaller presentations done in rural communities.

  • Identifies and educates caregivers of the elderly
  • Improves the quality of care
  • Supports the caregiver

Educational topics:

  • Nutrition
  • Medication management
  • Mental health
  • Hiring a caregiver
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Lifting and transferring
  • Fire safety
  • Fall prevention
  • Comfort/palliative care
  • Local/national resource identification
  • Exercises for the aging
  • Respite programs

Nearly one in four US households have someone that is dependent upon another individual for assistance. 

A caregiver is anyone taking care of someone 60 years of age or older that needs assistance with at least two activities of daily living (ADL’s). ADL’s include dressing, eating, bathing, or supervision due to cognitive or other mental impairment, among others. Caregivers are often persons who are not health care providers prior to becoming a caregiver, but often end up having to learn skills that are commonly required of nursing assistance and therapy technicians.

For more information, please contact:
JaRae Puls
CARE Coordinator


Special Projects
The annual CNA Appreciation Day was expanded to another location this year. Ponca City joined Enid and Woodward as sites for this successful, entertaining and educational event for CNAs. Registered attendance more than doubled from last year’s event, and there was an increase in community involvement and sponsorship. We continue as a sponsor for events such as the end-of-life care teleconferences, the Oklahoma Nurses Association legislative forum, The Geriatric Education Centers Grand Rounds on Aging and Disabilities, Domestic Violence Workshop, Elder-Fair, a Public Forum on second hand smoke, and the Progressive Farmer-Farm Safety Day Camp.

The AHEC News, a publication of rural health news for the state, had three issues produced this year. The themes were "Assistive Technology", "Health Hazards from Agricultural Runoff", and "Bioterrorism". Twelve thousand copies of each issue were distributed around and outside Oklahoma.


Recent Events

Ethics in Counseling & Conducting Grief Counseling: A Workshop for Mental Health Professionals

April 8, 2011
Enid, OK
Northwestern Oklahoma State University (Rm 127)

In this one day workshop, participants will become knowledgable regarding content and history of selected Western ethical theories and counseling techiques. Discussion will include identifying and addressing clinical issues regarding grief and the mourning process. CEU's (6) are requested for LPC, LMFT, PhD. Fee is $55 - free for NWOSU graduate students. (Sponsored by Rural Health Projects, Inc/NWAHEC and Northwestern Oklahoma State University)

.Brochure and Registration Form



Andy Fosmire
for Health Careers

Charlene Littlecook
Office Manager

Teresa Mitchell
Program Assistant

JaRae Puls
CARE Coordinator

Carissa Cowen
Health Careers Coordinator