Wednesday, February 6, 2019

New Program to Encourage Children to Pursue Health Careers



HEALTH— New York City hospitals announced a new program to introduce elementary and middle school students (ages 9 to 13) to careers in the health care field. 

The four-week Saturday program series will allow students to learn about human anatomy, physiology, pathology, and biomedical careers in a fun and interactive format.

Shaped in partnership with the national non-profit Mentoring in Medicine, the Youth Academy will launch its first series on Saturday, March 2. 

On four successive Saturdays, the program will run from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Tailored to each age group, the curriculum will cover health science topics through hands-on activities. Course content will focus on the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems, with an emphasis on anatomy, physiology, and pathology, as well as related health interventions. An expected byproduct of the program is the strengthening of the participants’ English language arts and math skills.

“Inspiring children from diverse backgrounds to pursue careers in health care will not only open an exciting professional life for them, but also help reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the field,” said Cristina Contreras, executive director of NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx. “We want the children in our program to meet and learn from a range of health professionals, including some who look, sound, and act like they do—so they learn that they are not just welcome but also belong in the health care field.”

“I am excited to hear that NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx will be offering opportunities for kids in the Northwest Bronx to explore potential future medical careers,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. “All kids should grow up with the mentality that they can accomplish any career they set their mind to, and having firsthand hospital experience is a terrific way to cement this dream. Thank you to Mentoring in Medicine and NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx for their partnership on behalf of our neighborhood kids.”

“This is not just a program,” said New York City Council Member Andrew Cohen. “This is an investment in the next generation of healthcare professionals—and it is happening right here in the Bronx! I am thrilled that children from all backgrounds will have the opportunity to get an in-depth look at the health care field. It is important that we support, engage, invest in, and challenge our youth with interesting subjects and diverse programing, so I am sincerely thankful to NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx for creating this Youth Academy and for valuing diversity and inclusivity in the healthcare industry.”

Fifty slots are open for the introductory series. The children will be divided into five teams, each led by its own instructor. There are no academic requirements to enter, but children are expected to attend an orientation session and abide by a code of conduct.

Among the highlights of the first series, children will learn about the structure of the heart, explore the anatomy of a cow’s heart, handle medical instruments, create a public health campaign to raise awareness of diseases of the heart, and learn elements of first aid.

Each session will culminate in students delivering a capstone project on lessons learned and receiving a certificate of completion.

“Engaging with children in the community is a true pleasure and a huge source of personal and professional satisfaction,” said Chinyere Anyaogu, MD, deputy chief medical officer at NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx, who will be one of the staff members teaching. “Our greatest investment in the future is our youth, and it is an honor to be able to help a child decide to enter the medical field.”

Subsequent four-week sessions will focus on different parts of the body. Additional content may be developed to focus on health informatics, mobile app development, and data science, as well as introductions to biomedical research and public health. Sufficient variety in course content is planned for students to participate in sessions over multiple years and always cover different content. Each session is designed to stand alone, so there will be no expectations that a student will have taken a previous session.

“As the co-founder and president of Mentoring in Medicine, I’m delighted to launch our Youth Academy in partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx,” said Lynne Holden, MD, professor of Emergency Medicine at the Albert Einstein Medical School. “We look forward to bringing our ten years of successful in-school programs to a hospital. Our goal is to help develop the next generation of health care leaders dedicated to serving our neediest communities. We will provide academic enrichment, leadership development, college readiness, biomedical career exposure, and mentoring targeting elementary and middle school students.”


The cost for the four-week series is $297. (A discounted cost of $199 is offered to children of NYC Health + Hospitals employees.) To register, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nyc-health-hospitals-north-central-bronx-youth-academy-tickets-55271569753. For questions about the program, please email andrew@medicalmentor.org.

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