Health Academy in this month’s spotlight | News, Sports, Jobs

The ongoing pandemic has impacted the way schools in the county proceed with their normal daily activities.  This means that it is uncertain when schools will be able to welcome visitors back into their buildings.  We have partnered with The Columbiana County Career and Technical Center to showcase the career and technical programs that they offer so that incoming juniors can make an informed decision for enrollment in a program that will interest them.  Programs will be spotlighted each month of the school year.  Students who are interested in enrolling in a program for the 2021-22 school year are invited to do so by visiting the CCCTC’s webpage (  and completing the enrollment application which is available now.  Any questions about the programs or the requirements for enrollment should be directed to Sue Allison, guidance administrator, at (330) 424-9561 ext. 118 or [email protected] 

The CCCTC program being featured in April is Health Academy. While the Health Academy is one program, it is unique in that there are two instructors and the program can accept 50 students as opposed to the 25 students that can be accepted into the other programs at the CCCTC. This is because in the health academy program, during the junior year students will focus on learning the basics needed (medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and nurse aid certification) for any health-related career. During their senior year, students will make a choice to focus on preparing to follow a path for a career in patient centered care or in the emergency health care field.

Benefits of Being a

Student in the Program

Benefits of the program for students following the patient centered care path include being able to earn college credit while attending high school and increased knowledge and experience in health career fields. The CCCTC Health Academy provides high school students the opportunity to explore careers in health-related fields, learn skills, and earn certifications necessary to work and/or to continue their education in healthcare. Students enrolled in Health Academy have the opportunity to complete clinicals during their school day which provides them with experiences they would encounter when they enter the workforce in patient care facilities and hospital settings. The need for highly qualified healthcare workers is increasing which means when students complete the health academy program, they have many opportunities awaiting them in the field. Most CCCTC health academy students are already working as State Tested Nursing Assistants, Childcare Providers, or Patient Care Technicians before they graduate high school and are earning on average $10.00 -$15.00 per hour. Area Long Term Care Facilities and Healthcare Agencies recruit regularly from the Health Academy program at the CCCTC. 

For those who choose to follow the emergency health care path, the focus is on learning basic emergency health care.  The path that a student could follow in the emergency health care industry is starting at the entry level position of EMT which allows the students to work in the field as they prepare to become a Paramedic, Flight Medic, RN, or Firefighter. Enrollment in this program includes training students to respond to prehospital emergencies as well as providing interfacility transports. In addition, CCCTC students are given the opportunity to garner real-life experience by completing clinical rotations at several private EMS agencies, fire departments, and at East Liverpool City Hospital. The great thing about enrolling in the Health Academy program is that students who choose the focus of emergency health care during their senior year have the opportunity to become certified as Emergency Medical Technicians and work for an emergency medical response company or a fire department upon graduation and passing the required test.

Credentials and


Agreements for

the Program

Students in the health academy earn credentials and certifications during both junior and senior year.   During the junior year, students can earn STNA certification through the Ohio Department of Health. They also can earn their CPR/ First Aid through AHA.  During the senior year, students again take a CPR and first aid class to become certified as healthcare providers. They also can earn additional certifications. The first is the Patient Care Technician certification (CPCT/A) through the National Healthcareer Association. A second certification they can earn is the Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) certification also through the National Healthcareer Association. Finally, seniors also become certified as Childcare Providers through the Ohio Department of Job and Family services.  In addition, those following the emergency health care path can earn their EMT certification.

The Health Academy also boasts some amazing articulation agreements that can help students further their career in the health care field at a fraction of the cost. Those who choose to enroll in the adult education program at the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center are eligible to receive a $4,000 scholarship to the Practical Nursing Program which is a 12 month program that prepares students to sit for the NCLEX and then practice as a Practical Nurse. There are also articulation agreements with Youngstown State University, Ohio Valley College of Technology, and Eastern Gateway Community College. Upon meeting the requirements of the agreements, students can earn 6 credit hours toward various degrees (AAS; BSAS; BSN; BSRC) at Youngstown State University, 7 credits toward an Associate of Applied Business degree at Ohio Valley College of Technology, and 5+ credits toward an Associates of Applied Science- Laboratory Technician degree or 10 credits toward various degrees at Eastern Gateway Community College.

Student Spotlights

Since the Health Academy program is unique in that it has two instructors with two different career paths and a capacity of 50 students, each of the instructors chose an exemplary student to highlight.

Exemplary Student for Health Academy-

Patient Centered Care

Brooklyn Funari is the exemplary student for the Patient Centered Care path of Health Academy. Brooklyn is a senior from Columbiana High School. Brooklyn has already earned several certifications including CPR and First Aid certification as well as Child Care Certification. She earned her State Tested Nurse Aide certification earlier this school year and is currently working through the CCCTC work placement program as an STNA in a long-term care facility. Soon, Brooklyn will be taking the exam to become a Patient Care Technician through the National HealthCareer Association.  She is also enrolled in the Phlebotomy Certification Program and is expected to become a certified phlebotomist by the end of the school year. Brooklyn has been accepted into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Kent State University main campus and will begin her nursing classes this coming fall. Mrs. Dawson states, “Brooklyn is an excellent student, is very mindful of her work and is helpful to all of the other students in the class. She is also the class president for the Health Academy CTSO organization. Brooklyn has demonstrated her leadership abilities by taking charge of sophomore visits and CTSO meetings. She is also a member of the SkillsUSA Health Knowledge Bowl team that qualified for state competition.  I am very proud of everything that Brooklyn has accomplished this year. I am confident that she will do well in the nursing program as well as in life.” At the CCCTC, Brooklyn is a member of National Technical Honor Society where she holds the office of Vice President. She is also a member of the career and technical student organization SkillsUSA where she serves as the President.

Exemplary Student for Health Academy-

Emergency Health Care

Kaylee Colkitt was chosen as the exemplary student for the Health Academy- Emergency Health Care path. She is a junior from Leetonia High School. Mr. Burns describes Kaylee as “an excellent student, with great attendance and displays respect for those around her.” She has earned the American Heart Association Heartsaver First Aid CPR certification and is currently working on obtaining a State Tested Nurse Aide certification. Kaylee’s goal is to earn her STNA, EMT, and Phlebotomy certifications by the time she graduates next year. Upon graduation, Kaylee wants to attend the LPN and RN adult education programs offered by the CCCTC with a long-term goal of becoming an OB/GYN nurse. An excellent student, Kaylee has maintained a 4.0 gpa for many years. In addition, she has been active in sports and activities during her high school career. At Leetonia, Kaylee was a member of the Spanish Club. She also participated as a member of several sports teams including cross country, track, and basketball. At the CCCTC, she is a member of SkillsUSA and will be inducted into the National Technical Honor Society in May. In her free time, she likes to volunteer at the Columbiana County Dog Pound and do people’s hair. In addition to attending post-secondary schooling, Kaylee plans to travel after graduation.

Instructor Spotlights

Health Academy-

Patient Centered


Pamela Dawson is the Health Academy-Patient Centered Care instructor. A lifelong resident of East Liverpool, she graduated from East Liverpool High School and only left the area for the four years that she lived in Columbus while attending the Ohio State University. Mrs. Dawson has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the Ohio State University and a Master’s degree in Career and Technical Education from Kent State University. A registered nurse for 34 years, Mrs. Dawson worked in long-term care and critical care for part of her career prior to becoming a teacher. The last 23 years have been spent in the classroom teaching high school health academy. She holds many certifications including nurse aide instructor through the Ohio Department of Health, Phlebotomy instructor, and a Patient Care Technician instructor through the National HealthCareer Association. She also dedicates her time to ensure that students are learning what they are tested on by being an item writer for Webxams for the Health Sciences Career Cluster in conjunction with OSU and ODE.  In addition to teaching high school health academy, she is employed as a Nurse Aide evaluator through D and S Technologies. Mrs. Dawson is responsible for teaching the Nurse Aide Certification program and Patient Centered Care.

Health Academy-

Emergency Health Care

Bill Burns, instructor of the Emergency Health Care path of Health Academy, brings a wealth of experience from his years in the field to his classroom. His teaching career spans 14 years, but his experience goes back much further. He began working in emergency services in 1977 as a volunteer firefighter and part time Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).  Eventually, he secured a position as a firefighter at the East Liverpool Fire Dept and as a Paramedic at Lifeteam EMS prior to taking a teaching position. Mr. Burns earned his career tech teaching license from Kent State University. Like his counterpart in the Patient Centered Care path, Mr. Burns holds many certifications including Firefighter II, Emergency Medical Technician, Hazardous Materials Technician, Fire Instructor, and EMS instructor. Mr. Burns is responsible for teaching Anatomy & Physiology, Medical Terminology, and Emergency Medical Technician.

CCCTC’s Health

Academy Program

Benefits Local


The Health Academy program is a tremendous benefit to local businesses. There is a great demand for trained, skilled professionals in the health care field. The Health Academy program allows local businesses to immediately fill available jobs with qualified individuals right out of high school.  Many of the available jobs are ones students might not even realize are a possibility for them. The Health Academy at the CCCTC provides a terrific opportunity to research some of these careers and gain a foothold in the industry.  Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs in the next ten years than any of the other occupational groups which means local businesses will be constantly looking for qualified employees. Hiring students from the CCCTC means that local healthcare providers have a continuous pool of employees that graduate each year. Anyone thinking about going into a career in healthcare, whether straight out of high school, entering the military, or attending college, would benefit by coming to the Health Academy at the CCCTC because local businesses rely on our students to fill essential roles in the healthcare industry. 

Any student who is interested in enrolling in the Health Academy Program should complete the online application now.  Every program is limited in capacity, so do not hesitate to enroll to ensure you get into the program of your choice.  Any questions about the programs can be directed to Sue Allison at extension 118 ([email protected]) or Michelle Fitzsimmons at extension 158 ([email protected]) at the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center. 

— Submitted material

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