Thanks to funding from Reading Hospital Foundation, 94 local middle school students currently are participating in an innovative educational program designed to excite them about health sciences and healthcare careers. The “Adventures in Health Science and Medicine” (AHSM) program was created by the Cleveland Clinic, and Reading Hospital facilitators received training from the Cleveland Clinic to teach the course.
Between October 11 and November 8, 2017, students at four local middle schools participated in weekly hour-long video conference sessions that creatively introduced them to the sciences and what it entails to work in a medical laboratory, radiology, respiratory care, pharmacy and physical therapy. Each session included an ongoing medical case study, hands-on activities with real-world applications, and video conference discussions with Reading Hospital professionals.
After those five weeks, the students attended an Innovation Challenge/Design Workshop. Now, the students are working on their challenge to develop a new health science or medical innovation. Each class will present its work via video conference on December 6.
The participating schools are Northwest Middle School and Southern Middle School in the Reading School District; Daniel Boone Middle School in the Daniel Boone Area School District; and Kutztown Area Middle School in the Kutztown Area School District. The Reading Hospital Foundation has funded the schools’ participation.
“Reading Hospital Foundation is committed to advancing innovation, education and research that improves healthcare in Berks County,” said Desha Dickson, Director of Community Health and Engagement, Reading Hospital. “This program does that by linking primary education to careers in healthcare, introducing students to the sciences and enabling individuals to identify interests early in their education.”
“This program is helping build the pipeline of future healthcare workers, and it is a privilege for us to work with the Cleveland Clinic to offer this extraordinary program in our area,” she said.