AHEC's Academic services helped me get college scholoarships. It helped being around like-minded individuals, tutoring in chemistry and math..."

Brittany Daniel,


Helping Students Answer the Career Question

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s the quintessential question that young people hear from adults who are eager for them to have rich lives, starting with productive, successful careers. ECMO AHEC helps students make that all-important decision – and we help them to start early.

ECMO AHEC is committed to enhancing access to quality health care, particularly primary and preventive care, by growing and supporting the healthcare workforce in our service area of the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County and Franklin County.

Health care offers hundreds of rewarding and in-demand careers. ECMO AHEC can connect students to professionals as they explore the world of health care for service in rural and underserved areas. Our services to students include:

Club M.E.D.
Summer Camps (Camp Scrubs)
Smart Track


The ECMO AHEC Career Enhancement Scholars (ACES) Program is designed for high school students grades 9-12 who are interested in pursuing careers in:

  • Primary care medicine (family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics)
  • Nursing
  • General dentistry or dental hygiene
  • Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Psychologists, Psychiatrists
  • Dieticians/Nutritionists
  • Public Health Veterinarians

The program develops one-on-one relationships for Missouri high school students, their parents and communities to create a comprehensive statewide pipeline, funneling students into primary healthcare careers. This program accepts students from diverse backgrounds, offering particular encouragement to students:

  • Who display a strong interest in pursuing a career in primary care;
  • Who are from medically underserved rural and urban population groups;
  • Who are first generation college students
  • Who are from socio-economically disadvantaged families

ACES Scholars become fully engaged in healthcare career preparations. Individual assessments are completed to determine each student’s need for academic enrichment, exposure to health professions through professional job shadowing, and need for financial support. ECMO AHEC staff complete an Individual Career Plan (ICP) with each student, mapping out his/her path from high school into college, professional school, and beyond to meet their ultimate career goal.

Throughout these stages of the PRIMO ACES pipeline, students are required to:

  • Attend appropriate academic anrichment and health related exploration activities
  • Shadow healthcare professionals
  • Participate in community service activities
  • Meet regularly with an AHEC advisor


ACES/ACES Brochure

Go to top


A second stage of programming and career preparation is designed for undergraduate students from the same backgrounds as ACES students, but who in college rather than high school, and who are pursuing a career in primary care. The program is focused on students interested in and capable of succeeding in the increasingly competitive health professions environment.

When a high school student moves on to undergraduate school, he/she transitions from ACES to ACES+ programming, AHEC staff stay in close contact with the student, ensuring he/she has the necessary resources to be successful in their career path.

Through early hard work, some PRIMO ACES Scholars gain pre-admittance into Missouri professional schools, thereby helping to ensure that many students stay in-state for training.

Statistical research reveals that healthcare provider employment choices are heavily influenced by the communities in which they grew up and those where they received clinical training. ECMO AHEC promotes the "grow your own" philosophy that was the base for the development of the PRIMO program.


ACES/ACES Plus Brochure

Club MED

ECMO AHEC’S Club MED (Medical Education Development), is a career discovery program to help students explore and plan for healthcare careers. The health club program is a collaboration with local schools. Club M.E.D can be established as an in-school or after school enhancement program.


K-12 Classroom Teachers and Counselors

BTEP (Bridge to Employment Program)

With a grant from Johnson & Johnson (Centocor in St. Louis), ECMO AHEC, in collaboration with the McCluer South-Berkeley High School, launched a career development program for 25 ninth grade students at McCluer South-Berkeley.

The Bridge to Employment Program (BTEP) is designed to educate students about career opportunities in the healthcare field and encourages high school students to pursue challenging health care careers. The program draws on a collaborative effort between schools, employers, parents and community groups to provide a diverse population of students with academic learning and real-life experiences.

BTEP was established in 1992 by Johnson & Johnson to help young people build solid futures by introducing them to a wide variety of careers in the fields of mathematics, science and health care. St. Louis is one of 12 communities across the world that currently offers BTEP.


BTEP Brochure

Summer Camps

Camp Scrubs, held in locations throughout the ECMO AHEC service area, is a week-long day camp that provides students with a unique opportunity to explore their interests in health careers, assess their skill levels in math and science, and gain a competitive edge in pursuing the colleges and careers of their choice. Students involved:

  • Explore health careers
  • Gain insight into life as a student pursing a health career
  • Participate in math and science enrichment and assessment
  • Use Missouri Connections to explore and prepare for successful careers and build an online portfolio for college
  • Receive valuable information from healthcare professionals
  • Have fun with hands-on activities, including: laboratory procedures, blood typing with simulated blood investigating inherited diseases and much more
  • Visit St. Louis Community College’s Mobile Tech Unit for exciting career presentations
  • Lear the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and other essential skills for academic success
  • Become certified in First Aid

Camp activities begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 3:15 p.m. Lunch, snacks, materials, and transportation for field trips is provided. Camp Scrubs is free for current ACES students and $125 for non-ACES students. Scholarships are available.

Qualifications for participation in Camp Scrubs:

  • High school freshman or sophomore
  • Interest in health careers
  • 3.0 GPA (on 4.0 scale)
  • Completed ACES application


Camp Scrubs Brochure

MESA (Medical Adventure in Science Anatomy) – ITV (Interactive Tele-Video)

MESA is a distance learning opportunity for high school students interested in health profession students. These interactive distance learning workshops are designed to provide hands-on educational opportunities to enhance skills and to academically prepare and motivate high school students who are interested in primary healthcare careers.

MESA workshops include:

  • A review of basic lab protocols, dissection cuts, surgical instruments and suture techniques
  • Exploring abnormal cell growth in body organs
  • Studying the anatomy of trauma

Smart Track

The Smart Track Support Group Forum is an information-sharing meeting that features formal and informal presentations, discussions and interactions between healthcare professionals (doctors, dentists, nurses, public health practitioners) parents and prospective students that will provide insightful examinations of:

  • Career awareness and pathways to the study of medicine, dentistry, nursing and allied health professions
  • Effective study and communication skills and training strategies that prepare and move students along the educational pathway to healthcare careers
  • Health awareness of contemporary community health issues affecting African-American and other people of color

Smart Track Support Group forums are designed to create greater awareness of the need to produce more trained healthcare professionals of color and to provide the “heads-up” on:

  • Identifying interest-compatible healthcare
  • Developing effective study skills and strategies for academic preparation
  • Obtaining funding to finance education and training for career interests
  • Identifying risk factors for disease prevention and good health maintenance
  • Staying abreast of change in healthcare developments
  • Selecting colleges, medical, dental and professional schools


ECMO AHEC academic partner is Saint Louis University Department of Family and Community Medicine. ECMO AHEC works closely with professional students to assist with rotations, housing and community service opportunities in the St. Louis area. Doctors for Diversity, a student special interest group at Saint Louis University School of Medicine mentor and tutor ACES and ACES Plus students. Residents from Washington University School of Medicine also volunteer to participate in Club M.E.D. through the Center for Diversity and Cultural Competence at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. ECMO link professional students to communities in its five county region.

ECMO AHEC works with students from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and A.T. Stills University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM) as they complete their rotations in the St. Louis region.

For more information about housing in the area:

  • UMKC students should contact ECMO AHEC at 314.772.9979 or
  • KCOM students should contact:
    Philip Grunder Jr.
    KCOM Regional Coordinator
    Des Peres Hospital
    2345 Dougherty Ferry Road
    St. Louis, MO 63122-9739
    Phone: (314) 966-9510
    Fax: (314) 966-9394
Volunteer Opportunities

If you would like to assist a health professions student, please contact ECMO AHEC. We can connect you with many volunteer opportunities, including:

  • Mentoring
  • Presentations
  • Tutoring


Contact Us


Through a strong network of partners, ECMO AHEC is able to provide services to aspiring health care professionals, current health care professionals, local communities, schools, universities, and healthcare providers to improve access to healthcare. ECMO AHEC academic partner is Saint Louis University Department of Family and Community Medicine.

Health Fair

Working with our partners, ECMO AHEC also provides educational programs such as health fairs to increase awareness, promote prevention and encourage long-term health and fitness. Through the Health Literacy Missouri (HLM) initiative andthe Southwest AHEC Resource Center, ECMO can provide technical assistance to community partners in need of resources, training and services in healthy literacy.

Some of our community partners:

  • St. Louis University Department of Family and Community Medicine
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC)
  • Missouri Foundation for Health
  • BJC Health Care
  • Institute for Family Medicine
  • Maternal, Child and Family Health Coalition of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • Center for Cultural Cancer Communication-American Cancer Society
  • Community Health-In-Partnership Services (CHIPS)
  • American Red Cross-St. Louis Area Chapter
  • HealthStreet-Center for Community-Based Research-Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences
  • Delmar Gardens Enterprises
  • Family Care Health Centers (FQHC)
  • Franklin County Department of Health
  • Healthy Youth Partnership-United Way
  • Jefferson County Department of Health
  • Missouri Coalition for Oral Health
  • Health Literacy Missouri
  • Centocor-Johnson and Johnson Foundation
  • McCluer South Berkeley High School
  • Myrtle-Hillard Davis Comprehensive Health Center (FQHC)
  • St. Louis Public Schools
  • St. Louis Health Care Workforce Partners
  • Normandy Public Schools
  • St. Louis American Newspaper
  • Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc.
  • University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • St. Louis Community Colleges
  • St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE)
  • SSM Health Care


Community Partners

ECMO AHEC also provides teachers and counselors with educational opportunities and curriculum that encourage students to consider exploring health careers, as well as following a healthy lifestyle. We can create and present customized, age-appropriate, hands-on activities for your class, school or career fair. We also have the resources to help you create and present your own educational activities.

ECMO AHEC can assist teachers in establishing Club MEDs at their school.

Contact ECMO AHEC for additional information about:

  • A classroom or school presentation
  • Career fair activities
  • Establishing a Club MED
  • Workshops and professional development


Health Careers 101 Manual for High School Teachers and Counselors
Contact Us


ECMO AHEC provides critical services to Health Care Professionals. Through ECMO AHEC, professionals in underserved areas can strengthen their practices. Through its affiliation with Saint Louis University MAHEC, ECMO AHEC provides accredited continuing education opportunities, resources, and connections to health professions students.

The Missouri Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) Digital Library (MDL) provides access to health information resources for all AHEC-supported Preceptors, students and other health care providers who are practicing in Missouri. Healthcare related institutions may participate in the MDL and institutions with libraries may become affiliate members with the MAHEC Digital Library System.

Volunteer Opportunities for health professionals:

  • Become a Preceptor
  • Become a mentor
  • Provide presentations to: High schools, college students, professional students
  • Provide student internships, service learning, shadowing


Contact Us

Become a Program Sponsor


Go to top