September 12, 2003

New School-To-Career Program Educates Youth On Health Care Careers

The San Diego Border Area Health Education Center (SDBAHEC), in collaboration with Scripps Memorial Hospital Chula Vista, has launched a new program designed to educate youth about the career opportunities in the health care industry. The School-to-Health Career Mentoring program provides youth with positive assets that enable them to become knowledgeable about health careers, comfortable in the workplace and ambitious about their future.

Students from both the Sweetwater High School and Southwest High School Regional Occupations Programs (ROP) and the Career Academy are matched with mentors from various health care areas including the nursing units, emergency department, finance, volunteer services and radiology.

Community youth inspired to campaign for good health.

Each student shadows his or her mentor weekly and participates in career workshops facilitated by health and social service professionals. These workshops not only give students an overview of the many career opportunities available, but help to inspire the next generation of health care providers, administrators and support personnel. The mentoring program begins in September and goes through January, and starts up again in January and ends in March.

In addition to the mentoring program, another program known as “Camp Scripps” aims at inspiring South Bay youth to focus on careers in the health profession through role models and interaction with local health care professionals. Camp Scripps is offered on an individual school basis during the summer months while students are in intercession.

The mentoring program and Camp Scripps are just some of the many services offered through Scripps’s affiliation with the SDBAHEC. Based out of Scripps Memorial Hospital Chula Vista’s Community Health Department, the Center offers workforce development and training resources in San Diego and throughout California. The primary purpose of the Center’s is “To enhance access to quality health care, particularly primary and preventive care, by improving the supply and distribution of health care professionals through community/academic educational partnerships.”

Currently, the San Diego Border Area Health Education Center program is one of 46 programs around the country. The programs are typically located within medical schools, although nursing schools are eligible to apply if no education center exists in the state currently. Sixty percent of the centers are community-based non-profit organizations, nine percent are community hospitals, 19 percent are community colleges and three percent are health centers.

Scripps Health is a not-for-profit, community-based health care delivery system that includes more than 2,600 affiliated physicians, five acute care hospitals, an ambulatory care network, and home health care services. Scripps employs about 10,000 people in San Diego County and treats more than 525,000 patients annually.

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