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L-R: OSU medical students and Owasso natives Shelby Rauh, Brandon Hunter and Sheridan Evans are assisting with Operation Orange, a mobile medical school summer camp. Courtesy photos

Three medical students from Owasso are going above and beyond to inspire others.

Sheridan Evans, Shelby Rauh and Brandon Hunter are first-year medical students at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences and are assisting with Operation Orange, a mobile medical school summer camp.

Oklahoma suffers from poor health, ranking 47th in the nation in 2018 in overall health according to the United Health Foundation. Oklahoma has dropped four spots since 2017. Its poor health status can be attributed to the shortage of primary care physicians.

To combat this problem, OSU Center for Health Sciences established Operation Orange, a one-day medical camp for high school students in grades 9-12. This program strives to inspire students to pursue a career in the medical field.

Several OSU osteopathic medical students – including Evans, Rauh and Hunter – will visit six cities and allow students to engage in a variety of activities to experience a day in the life of an OSU medical student.

Participating students will be given the opportunity to do chest compressions; insert breathing tubes in simulation mannequins; and study the anatomy of a human heart, lungs and brain with hands-on activities. They will also get to find out from current medical students what it takes to prepare for medical school.

“We need doctors in rural communities,” said Kayse Shrum, D.O., president of OSU Center for Health Sciences and dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. “Who better to care for rural families in Oklahoma than those from rural areas who have experienced the physician shortage in Oklahoma first-hand and who have a personal passion to preserve the rural way of life?”

Operation Orange camps have been underwritten by Northwest Oklahoma Osteopathic Foundation, Cherokee Nation, Stride Bank, the Chickasaw Nation, Comanche County Memorial Hospital, Oklahoma State Medical Association, Osteopathic Medicine Alumni, Stillwater Medical Center and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

For more information about OSU Center for Health Sciences’ Operation Orange, visit health.okstate.edu/operation-orange.