Upper Peninsula high school seniors who plan to enroll at a college or university in fall 2022 and pursue a health care field are invited to participate in an essay contest celebrating National Rural Health Day. Cash prizes to be awarded in the eastern, central and western U.P. regions are $500 for first place, $250 for second and $100 for third. The entry deadline is Friday, Oct. 15. The contest is sponsored by the Northern Michigan University Center for Rural Health, the Michigan Center for Rural Health and the U.P. Area Health Education Center.
The essay topic to be addressed, in 500 or fewer words, is this: As a resident of Michigan's U.P., what are some ways that Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies and communities could interact to build and strengthen relationships that might further enhance the recruitment, retention and overall success of EMS personnel and agencies in the U.P.?
The online introduction to the topic states that a shortage of paramedics and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel began a few years ago in Michigan and was exacerbated by the pandemic.
“It has now become a full-blown emergency. Over the past few years, at least 10 U.P. agencies have closed and three have merged with other agencies. The closure of an agency typically results in that geographic region then being picked up by another existing agency. Sometimes, this results in the agency covering even more ground with no additional people and/or resources. It's clear that systemic changes need to be explored and implemented to improve the payment model supporting people who work in this industry and, in particular, those serving in rural areas.”
Winners will be notified the second week in November and the first-place essays will be shared with students' hometown newspapers in the hope of the essays being published locally on Nov. 18, which is National Rural Health Day. Winners will receive their prizes in mid-late January.
For more information, or to submit an entry, visit https://nmu.edu/ruralhealth/essay-contest.
Elise Bur, director of the NMU Center for Rural Health, can be reached at email@example.com or 227-6356.