CONWAY — About 20 students attended a medical conference at Kennett High School on Saturday.
Organized by the HOSA (Health Organization Students of America) group at the school, the conference featured a visit by the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advanced Response Team (DHART) helicopter and a keynote address on addiction and the opioid epidemic in New Hampshire by Dr. Paul Racicot and Corey Gately of Lakes Region General Healthcare.
Although talk was open to the general public and skills workshops were open to medical professionals and students, most of those in attendance were students in health science technology program at the Mt. Washington Valley Career and Technical Center at Kennett.
Racicot and Gately spoke about advances in treatment for opioid addiction, including initiatives to get people into some kind of treatment more quickly, the use of Suboxone in treatment and the new state Doorway program that works to make resources more available to people.
Following their talk, students got a chance to see the DHART helicopter up close, climbing inside to look around and asking the two members of the response team questions.
Then they went inside for smaller breakout sessions, which included workshops on infection control, wilderness medicine, suturing techniques, concussions and what it is to be a medical student.
The conference is an outgrowth of the ongoing development of the health science technology program at the Mt. Washington Valley Career and Technical Center at Kennett High School, which over the past two years has seen changes in curricula, technology, the health science organization known as HOSA (Health Organization Students of America), industry certifications and an increase in external learning opportunities.
The goal of the MWVCTC health science technology program, according to instructor Tom Bruno is about “getting students ready for the rigors of medical school, developing sound medical skills, preparing them to earn certifications and to experience what the medical field is like through external learning opportunities.”