The Plateau Post

Education Moves the Mission – North Country CMA goes to PA School!

Continuing Her Health Career Journey

Supporting every step of the health career journey is central to our mission at North Country HealthCare and the Colorado Plateau Center for Health Professions (CPCHP), and it is thrilling when one of our employees takes their next step! This month, we would like to highlight one of these individuals, whose childhood doctor visits and employment experiences contributed to her desire to be a medical provider in northern Arizona. 

Meet Savannah Sparkes!

Savannah Sparkes is from Litchfield Park, AZ and while growing up, she was a regular patient of a pediatric ophthalmologist. This early and frequent exposure to healthcare made her want to practice medicine herself. When she started her undergraduate studies in biomedical sciences at Northern Arizona University (NAU) several years ago, she worked briefly at Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC) and a local dermatology office.

But it was her time with North Country as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) that solidified her decision to pursue a graduate degree in healthcare. Her time at North Country allowed her to work inter-professionally with a variety of clinicians and staff, which helped her gain experience and knowledge in full spectrum primary care. She worked at the Flagstaff University clinic when it was a COVID testing site and covered time at Flagstaff Pediatric Care and our Flagstaff 4th St. clinics. She saw that everyone she worked alongside was passionate to make a difference and she was inspired to choose an Arizona graduate program so she could continue working with the patients who needed her most. 

Savannah is currently completing her studies at NAU to be a Physician Assistant and is also an AHEC Scholar, which is a two-year interprofessional program for graduate healthcare students to experience public health and healthcare in rural and underserved settings through community immersive experiences. This program is in its fifth year and facilitated in northern Arizona by CPCHP. Savannah values the AHEC Scholars Program because it allows students to understand that no two rural communities are the same, including their social determinants of health and how to address the health inequality.

Savannah Sparkes is an inspiring example of North Country’s dedication to our communities, as well as our commitment to supporting those interested in serving underserved northern Arizona in a health career to achieve that goal.

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Thanks for stopping by The Plateau Post, a blog where we share news, organization updates, and student & alumni stories focused on training, building, and strengthening the health workforce in northern Arizona.

Together we can ensure that we have enough quality healthcare practitioners to care for all our communities today and in the future.

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