Healthcare Careers Institute 2019-12-11T06:34:20-07:00

Save the Date June 6-9th, 2020
SWCAHEC Healthcare Careers Institute

High school students from eight Colorado counties:  Archuleta, Dolores, Hinsdale, La Plata, Montezuma, Ouray, San Juan & San Miguel are invited to attend a Healthcare Careers Institute on June 6-9th on the campus of Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Guided by camp staff, students explore the many fields of the healthcare industry, engage in hands-on activities and meet professionals from a variety of health occupations. We want every attendee to know that they too, can pursue a career in healthcare and make a difference in their community!

Check out the Highlights from 2019

How to Apply?

All students are invited to apply for the SWCAHEC Health Careers Institute.

The most important criteria for perspective student participants is their sincere interest in learning more about healthcare-related careers.  Because of this, students will be asked to write a brief letter of intent expressing their interest as part of the application process (See instructions below).  Acceptance will be on a first come, first serve basis and applicants will not be considered until all application materials have been submitted.

Tuition for the 2020 Health Careers Institute is $200.00.  Scholarships are available.  Please contact Kate Hartzell at

Please complete the following steps to apply for the SWCAHEC Healthcare Careers Institute 2020:

  1. To begin the process, please go to the application and fill out your Intent to Apply.
  2. Once SWCAHEC has received your information, we will send a Parent Packet via email to be completed by the applicant and his/her/their guardian. The Parent Packet includes the following materials: Student Code of Conduct and Rules and Regulations for both the Institute and Fort Lewis College residence halls; Parent/Guardian Permission Form; Media Release Form; Signed Health History; Medical Release and Liability Waiver; Medical Consent to Treat Form, Proof of Immunizations*; Proof of Health Insurance; Signed Healthcare Careers Institute Behavior Contract.

Student Letter or Intent:  Please write a short 1-2 paragraph letter describing why you are interested in the SWCAHEC Healthcare Careers Institute.  This letter will give you an opportunity to introduce yourself and your interests in relation to your future career.  You will not be judged on your writing or on the content of your letter- this is an opportunity for us to see that you are looking forward to learning more about healthcare careers.  If you need help with your Letter of Intent, contact us!

SWCAHEC will not consider the application until all materials have been completed and received at our office.

  1. Once we have received your application, you will receive an acceptance email from SWCAHEC followed by a phone call from the Executive Director to answer any questions that you may have about the upcoming Institute.

*Most healthcare facilities have rules about immunization status for students who shadow in their facilities therefore, students who are not fully immunized will have limited clinical shadow opportunities.  Please contact Kate Hartzell, Executive Director of SWCAHEC, if you have questions.

We Need Counselors!

Are you a healthcare professional or a healthcare professions student?  Are you an educator or do you have experience as a youth mentor? We need counselors to help with activities, to answer questions about education and career preparation, and to support students during this four-day learning experience. The position includes a $500.00 stipend. If you are interested, please click on the link below and submit your application. If you have questions, please contact Kate Hartzell at

Healthcare Careers Institute Sponsorship Opportunities

SWCAHEC relies on local sponsors to fund the Institute.  Sponsorships pay for student tuition and program costs. Your support enables us to enrich the lives of students from all over Southwestern Colorado by exposing them to new and exciting career possibilities and by teaching them strategies to increase their overall wellness. Please join us by investing in our future healthcare professionals!

To get involved in next year’s event, contact the office.

We want to thank all of our 2019 Healthcare Careers Institute sponsors for a great event!

Telluride Foundation, Enterprise Foundation, the Daniels Fund, SWCAHEC, Colorado AHEC, Ballantine Family Fund, Flexible Flyers Rafting, Pagosa Springs Medical Center, Mercy Regional Medical Center, Empire Electric, LPEA, Sherpa Real Estate, and Alpine Medical.

AHEC Career Exploration Program

This is a free monthly program for high school students that can be attended in person or virtually.

  • Learn about the many, exciting options for careers in healthcare
  • Gain support in planning for education and training related to healthcare careers
  • Acquire knowledge and skills related to healthcare careers
  • Receive Mentoring from current health profession students
  • And more!

Call (970) 426-4284 or email for more information.

“When I came to the Health Careers Camp I THOUGHT I wanted to be a nurse in Durango. Now I KNOW I want to be a nurse in Durango!”
~ Maya, age 17