FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Friday ended up being a historic day for 26 Visalia High School students as they graduated from the first ever medical apprentice program at Kaweah Delta Hospital.
The program, called MAP for short, has given the students an opportunity to explore healthcare careers.
Students learned about physical, occupational, and speech therapy, listening to short lectures and even using equipment like an anti-gravity treadmill.
Map's program manager says Kaweah Delta spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year recruiting employees from outside the Visalia area, but this is one way the health care district can invest in local medical professionals for the future.
"So we're hoping that after this program they'll volunteer for us for the next couple of years," Lindi Funston with the program said. "And by the time they go away to college they will be true Kaweah Delta employee type people and they will know their career path and hopefully they will come back and work for us.
Kaweah Delta hopes to also set up a college scholarship program, with the requirement that students come back and practice at their hospital.