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June 7, 2023

Roux Institute launches gap year program for health care students

four people on rocks Courtesy / Roux Institute Participants in the institute's rural health care scholars program explore Maine's coastline in 2022. The Roux Institute is gearing up a new occupational training program.

A new hands-on training program in the health care industry provides participants with training and mentorships from experienced health care professionals and the opportunity for career development, networking opportunities and social experiences.

With an industry partnership grant from the Maine Department of Labor, Northeastern University's Roux Institute and and Bouvé College of Health Sciences will work with Maine health care systems and community clinics to create a pre-clinical gap year program. The program will allow students working toward their bachelor’s degrees to work in the health care field for a year before continuing their education.

"The experience and insights gained through a pre-clinical gap year can be invaluable for aspiring health care professionals,” said Kathy Simmonds, a clinical professor at Northeastern's School of Nursing. “Maine's diverse health care landscape offers real and immediate opportunities for students to make an impact and bolster their credentials."

The inaugural cohort will consist of 20 participants. In Bangor, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has hired the first three participants from the program: Katie Southworth, Stephen Rezack III and Jeni Nganzobo started full-time positions in May. According to the center, the program could help keep skilled caregivers in Bangor by engaging students as they gear up to continue their education in the medical field.

The program is a 12-month commitment and includes a stipend to cover living expenses. 

The goal is to allow aspiring health care professionals to gain experience in providing direct patient care or essential behind-the-scenes services.

In addition to building their resumé and professional network with full-time work experience, participants will also have access to ancillary programming at the Roux Institute, including cross-disciplinary professional development seminars, networking sessions with Roux’s Maine-based industry partners, and invitations to social experiences.

Partner health care systems and clinics include MaineHealth, Northern Light Health, Knox Clinic, Oasis Free Clinics, Maine Primary Care Association, Vein Healthcare Center and  Greater Portland Health. 

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