Winnetonka High School student Patreice Coccia aspires to be a medical examiner someday. Through KC HealthTracks’ inaugural summer camp, she received a behind-the-scenes, hands-on introduction to a career in healthcare.

“I learned how to intubate, spike an IV bag and lots of other things I didn’t know about,” said Coccia, one of 20 students who participated in the program. “It helped inform me on things I can do for my career. We toured a cadaver lab, and I now know that I am able to withstand that.”

The goal of KC HealthTracks is to increase the number of high school students from under-resourced area schools to attend higher education training programs to grow a skilled, diverse workforce for the healthcare and biosecurity industries. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health National Workforce Diversity Pipeline awarded a $2.5 million grant to the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies to direct KC HealthTracks. Partners include KC STEM Alliance, Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley, Project Lead the Way, West Central Missouri AHEC (Area Health Education Center), Missouri HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America)and the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium. The project will be available in Kansas City during a five-year period.

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Participants and Malala

On July 19, 2016 KC HealthTrack Students were amazed and inspired during the Bishop-McCann sponsored Chat Series 2.0. The event was held at the beautiful Muriel Kauffman Theatre in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. It was at this event where young 19 year old Malala Yousafzai, student, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, spoke about her life experiences and the importance of education.  Also featured was Malala’s father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, teacher, and Education Advocate, who also gave an outstanding motivational presentation. What an outstanding night! Students had the opportunity to hear the inspirational presentations and were in awe after the event.

Nine young ladies from KC HealthTracks attended the event, and two of them were given a special opportunity to interact with Malala in a private roundtable.

Malala group at KCEZ 20160719_182913_HDR 20160719_182245_HDR

A special note of “Thanks” to Bishop -McCann, the award winning agency that produces meetings, incentives, and event worldwide. They were very instrumental and supportive of our students by providing the opportunity to attend such a prestigious event.

Thanks to KC STEM Alliance Director Martha McCabe  and staff for their hard work .  Before the event, students were welcomed and took part of a social networking event including a grand dinner buffet, transportation to and from the event,  and free admission tickets to the Malala event.

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The KC Health Tracks students in Cohort #1 from metro Kansas City will participate in the first annual Summer Camp at UMKC. The camp will be held daily the week of June 6- 10 at UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies. Students will gain exposure and knowledge to healthcare careers and various educational pathways to become a health professional.

Students were selected based on grade level and are enrolled in Project Lead the Way Biomedical Sciences classes at their home high Schools.
Registration information will be sent to participating students and teachers in Cohort #1.
The camp is free including breakfast and lunch . Parents and family members will be invited to attend the last day of camp for a special presentation.
More details to follow.


The goal of KC HealthTracks is to increase the number of local high school students matriculating to health professions programs in higher education in order to grow a skilled, diverse workforce prepared to positively impact the healthcare and biosecurity industries. While concurrently enrolled in Project Lead the Way (PLTW) biomedical sciences courses at their respective high schools, promising students will be selected and tracked as cohort participants to receive coordinated and stacked health-care educational experiences outside of the classroom during the school-year and summer. These added experiences include:

  • Leadership Development
  • Intrusive Advising
  • Extensive Training Lab and Simulation Experiences
  • CPR Certification
  • Focused Summer Experience
  • ACT Test Preparation and Math/Science Tutoring
  • Industry Site Visits

Since it’s recent inception in the fall of 2015, KC HealthTracks has reached out to over seven high schools with 40 students marked as “promising students” that will succeed with the proper resources in their choice of a health professional career path. We have the right resources to help them overcome barriers that may prevent them from being successful.

Over the course of five years, the $2.5 million grant will support a portion of PLTW Biomedical Sciences teachers’ salaries and provide meaningful experiences directly for KC HealthTracks participants and indirectly for all PLTW Biomedical Sciences students.

KC HealthTracks is a unique collaboration of community, post-secondary institutions, and selected high schools . Through these partnerships the goal is execute a strategic plan that will impact a minimum of 200 high school students by equipping them with state of the art training, personal guidance, academia support, and materials to help them enter the medical workforce.