With Healthe Foundations, students investigate, diagnose and treat their “virtual” patient with a preventable medical condition. During the program, each student explores a role in a team of health care professionals (doctor, nurse, technologist, etc.) and shares their findings in an oral presentation.
Students who understand accountability, productivity, responsibility and self-direction tend to be better prepared in school, work and life. Healthe Foundations reinforces these skills and incorporates critical thinking, problem solving, communication, presentation and collaboration.
Attention spans are sharply declining and Healthe Foundations keeps students’ attention by using a variety of electronic media and health care technology. Students examine their patient, review test results and explore their electronic health record through a virtual environment.
First Hand Foundation’s Board of Directors challenged the foundation to develop a program, geared towards high school students, that would empower them to ‘take charge of their health’.
We surveyed local educators to help shape the program.
The first four schools implemented Healthe Foundations with 110 students participating.
‘Virtual Physical Exam’, a clinical exploration tool, was added to all patient stories providing students a more interactive experience.
We began using Google(TM) to increase program collaboration with students and as a way to share program resources with educators. We formed our Teacher Advisory Board (TAB) to help direct program growth and future enhancements. And, by the end of the school year, over 10,000 students had participated in Healthe Foundations since inception.
Healthe Foundations launched a new website, providing students and educators an improved navigation experience and quicker access to program resources. A mental health component was added to all patient stories. We also revised our first patient, to offer a modified experience for students with lower ability levels.
40,000 student have participated in Healthe Foundations since the program began in 2010. In the Fall, we launched an online training program for new teachers, allowing us to reach even more students.