The "Pathways to Careers" program was initiated by Mount St. Mary's Hospital, in collaboration with Niagara Catholic High School and Niagara University, to provide unique opportunities for high school students to plan for careers in health and health-related fields.
The program was initiated in June 2010 with a career fair and 12 hospital departments providing exhibits on specific health careers that support acute care operations. Students were encouraged to visit each exhibit and pick up information about careers, certification and licensure requirements and local institutions of higher learning, which offer courses of study in specific career programs. Students were also given the opportunity to sign up for an internship opportunity that began in September 2010.
Student candidates were interviewed and selected for competitive slots with each department. A course of study, which encompasses one college semester, includes a research paper; five distinct, age-appropriate activities, which align with actual on-the-job-training; a final project that relates to the occupation they are working in; and a journal of their experiences.
Each of the project displays was exhibited in the hospital's lobby on Jan. 31 to highlight the work of the interns during their respective semesters. Student interns will earn three college credits for their work through Niagara University.
This program was developed with an eye toward future recruitment, as well as for the purpose of providing high school students with enriched educational options to assist them in the selection of college courses of study. The program is designed to move students along a chosen local, educational pathway to potential local employment while affording education and visibility for traditional and non-traditional health care occupations. The program was developed and coordinated by Honor Martin, director of education and organizational development.
Dr. Robert Greene, chair of the Department of Biology at Niagara University, is the academic moderator for the program. Instructors at the hospital-level included Fred Caso, vice president - community relations; Michael Myhalenko, director - nutrition services; Andrew Schultz, director, rehabilitation services; Diana Paul, manager - medical/surgery unit; and Kathleen Faso, manager - cardiopulmonary services.
For more information, call 298-2299.