Students from The Immokalee Foundation pursuing a career in healthcare were given the opportunity to learn what it’s like to work in a hospital setting through a new summer internship initiative.
In partnership with Based in Naples Regional Health System of Physicians, this internship is part of the career paths of the Immokalee Foundation program. Students enter the program in sixth grade after being selected through an application process that includes a formal interview with a group of community members.
Career paths program has huge success with 100% of his students graduating from high school and 92% graduating after high school. There are four different paths students can choose from, and this internship opportunity is for growing 12th graders who have chosen the healthcare path.
“The benefit here is that we have provided education to students so that when they enter the internship, they are almost 99% sure that this is the path they want to take.” said Noemi Perez, CEO and president of The Immokalee Foundation.
Students receive their curriculum upon entering the program, so gaining experience with Physicians Regional is something that students have had years to prepare for. When Perez and her team spoke with Scott Lowe, CEO of Physicians Regional, about ways to collaborate, they all quickly realized how it would benefit both organizations.
“I think the same type of equal thinking is where the synergy happened,” Perez said. “[Lowe] he saw the vision. We enable children by importing the educational component and its future vision to ensure that it invests in the next generation, is profitable for all. ”
As part of this four-week program, students will be immersed in each department of the hospital from clinical to administrative. In this way, graduates receive exposure to the overall model of health care delivery.
Some of the experiences these students receive include observing doctors while performing X-rays, preparing a patient for surgery, and performs an operation. They will also learn the importance of the aspect of marketing and invoicing hospital work.
The Immokalee Foundation sees great value in mentoring, as students will be mentored individually by healthcare staff during the school year, either on campus or virtually. “I think [mentorship] “It’s a great resource for these kids because they really understand what they want to do in the long run,” Lowe said.
Physicians Regional provided the Immokalee Foundation with a $ 75,000 check to cover the costs of the internship program, including transportation, food and clothing. The donation also helps fund a summer health camp held at the University of Florida’s Gulf Coast. The camp is made up of 40 students, ranging from rising ninth to 11th grade. Every week, students will be trained on various aspects of healthcare and take excursions to a different organization.
The next step for many Immokalee Foundation health students after completing an internship at Physicians Regional is to become CNA Certified. “Obtaining post-graduate certificates benefits many organizations, especially in healthcare,” Perez said. “Which hospital wouldn’t want a high school graduate to come on board and find their roots?”
The Immokalee Foundation and Physicians Regional plan to partner each year on these two initiatives as a way to benefit the whole community.
“We want to be a source of talent for Southwest Florida,” Perez said. “I think this partnership will emphasize to other organizations that it is good to start investing in the future, because it will take time, but in the end it is worth it.”