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Like many health care organizations across the nation, ECU Health is facing an immense challenge: solving the growing health care workforce shortage.

Through community partnerships, the health system is doing its part to grow its workforce, starting right here in eastern North Carolina.

More than 200 high school students from Pitt County, Duplin County and other surrounding communities spent the day learning about various rural health care career opportunities at ECU Health’s Health Sciences Academy career fair Tuesday, March 5.

The event featured 30 hospital departments and exhibitors from partners including Pitt Community College and Beaufort County Community College hosted interactive and creative booths to educate students on different health care careers.

Students discuss a career in health care with ECU Health nurses at a station on pediatric care during the Health Sciences Academy career fair.

“It is such a joy to host these students and to expose them to so many interesting and important health care career opportunities available to them right here in eastern North Carolina,” said Nancy Turner, workforce development program coordinator, ECU Health. “Our students are our future workforce at ECU Health and partnerships like this are essential to ensuring we can care for our region. There are so many exciting and fulfilling opportunities to make a difference right here in their community, and we hope that today served as inspiration for them as they make important decisions about their future.”

The career fair is another representation of ECU Health’s commitment to growing health care talent locally. Through the Health Sciences Academy, ECU Health partners with public schools to provide eastern North Carolina’s youth with the education and resources to pursue exciting and fulfilling futures in health care. During high school, Health Sciences Academy students complete a minimum of six courses that expose them to potential health care careers and prepare students to pursue college-level health science programs upon graduation. They participate in job shadowing, mentoring, internships, medical research opportunities, career exploration and volunteering.

The Pitt County Health Sciences Academy is a partnership between ECU Health, Pitt County Schools, Pitt Community College, East Carolina University, the Brody School of Medicine, Colleges of Allied Health Sciences, Engineering and Nursing at East Carolina University, School of Dental Medicine at East Carolina University, the Eastern Area Health Education Center and the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce.


ECU Health Careers

Health Sciences Academy students play a game of Operation during their career fair on March 5, 2023.
A Health Sciences Academy student pets Clive, a therapy dog at ECU Health Medical Center, during the Academy's career fair on March 5, 2024.
A student watches an ECU Health team member show how to give oxygen to an infant during the Health Sciences Career Fair on March 5, 2024.
A student speaks with a Maynard Canine Crew handler, along with the crew's dog Sam, during the Health Sciences Academy career fair on March 5, 2024.