ROANOKE, Va., November 23, 2011 – More than 125 students, family members, teachers, and community members recently got the opportunity to learn how to put a health care career within reach.

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Jefferson College of Health Sciences hosted "Within Reach," a health care career fair, on November 22. Representatives from each school spoke about a range of health career fields, the education required to achieve those careers, and the steps students can take in high school and college to facilitate entrance into the relevant academic programs.

Dr. David Trinkle, associate dean for community and culture at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, led the planning and development of the event. “We were delighted with the turnout,” he said. “In addition, the students and their parents had great questions. We hope the evening helped spark the interest of students who may not have considered a health care career before.”

Judith McKeon, director of admissions of Jefferson College of Health Sciences, detailed the school’s 14 educational programs, which range from two-year associate's degree programs in respiratory therapy, to bachelor's degree programs in emergency services, to master's degree programs in nursing. Stephen Workman, associate dean for admissions and administration at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, discussed the school’s medical degree program and the steps students can take to increase their likelihood of acceptance.

The schools may offer similar programs in the future. “We hope to continue offering events like ‘Within Reach,’” said Trinkle. “We want local community members to get involved in two of the great schools right in their midst.”