Graduation ceremonies were held August 1 for ten Reno County high school students who participated this summer in the Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System (HRHS) Academy.
Under the program, established in 2013, ten area high school students contemplating careers in healthcare spent the summer working in eight departments within Hutchinson Regional Medical Center (HRMC). The Academy members also spent time at Horizons Mental Health Center, Hospice and HomeCare of Reno County, and Health-E-Quip, all entities of HRHS.
As a part of the program, the class spent one day with Drs. Timothy Crater and John Fan from the Hutchinson Clinic along with Dr. Robbie O’Brien-Leighton with the HRMC Inpatient Rehab Unit.
Those participating in this year’s HRHS Academy are: Chloe Chisam, Alyssa Matney, Shalee Mog, and Kendra Nachtigal, Buhler High School; Tyler Christian and Emily Ivey, Hutchinson High School; Jaedyn Douglas, Nickerson High School; Marin Willcox, Central Christian High School; along with Colyn Heimerman and Martin Vazquez of Trinity Catholic High School.
Competition for selection to the Academy was open to Reno County high school students completing 10th, 11th, or 12th grade. Class members spent 20 hours per week for eight weeks during June and July working and rotating through several departments including Pharmacy Services, the Heart and Vascular Department and Chalmers Cancer Center. A record number of students submitted applications to participate in the five-year-old program.
The class of 2017 was picked by a selection committee consisting of HRHS employees and included a lengthy application and concluded with one-on-one interviews with each candidate.
Academy members were asked to deliver a Power Point presentation to the selection committee during the last week of the program summarizing their experience.
Kendra Nachtigal and Martin Vazquez were each selected to receive a $500 scholarship as a result of their performance, attitude and enthusiasm during the class. Also, Alyssa Matney and Marin Willcox were awarded $100 Visa gift cards following presentations they made during the Academy graduation ceremonies.
In a charge to the class during the graduation ceremonies, Lee Spence, representing the HRHS Board of Directors, congratulated the class for successfully completing the program.
“THE HRHS board of directors fully supports the Academy program and we are encouraged by your enthusiasm and excitement to continue your education and learning skills in the healthcare industry,” Spence said. “Remember these core values as you continue your journey in your careers: Quality—strive to deliver the highest levels of excellence; Respect and Dignity—provide care that supports others; Innovation—develop solutions to meet a changing environment and, Empowerment—take ownership of your work to achieve your goals.”
Ken Johnson, President and CEO of HRHS, said the Academy is exposing students to careers in healthcare, including ones they may not have considered or even knew existed before participating in the class.
“All ten students exhibited great enthusiasm for their time in the program,” Johnson said. “Whether it was witnessing a surgery, holding a brain in their hands, or flying in a helicopter as a mock EMT patient, we have given these students experiences that will carry them through their education into one of many potential healthcare careers."