Student participants in the sHaPe program are exposed to a variety of health professions, anatomy and physiology, and personal health and fitness.
Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, in collaboration with Grand Valley State University, participated in the Summer Health Activities and Professions Exploration (sHaPe) program. sHaPe is a week-long day camp dedicated to exposing students to both the clinical and non-clinical side of health care, and potential career options in these areas.
sHaPe’s aim is “to educate under-represented populations about health and to encourage them to pursue a college and healthcare career.” This summer, the sHaPe program impacted 42 male and female junior-high school students.
“There are so many good opportunities in health care, and we need more committed, value-oriented, smart people to explore different career options within the health care field,” said Bradford Mathis, Director of Community Benefit Initiatives.
Students spent one day of hands-on learning at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s where nine different departments were represented. The day consisted of both a morning and afternoon session where students participated in six 25-minute workshops that emphasized nine different health care career opportunities. Careers in the areas of Security, Nutrition Services, Culinary Arts, as well as skills in the areas sterile processing, and surgery were highlighted throughout the day.
Mercy Health Saint Mary’s is dedicated to working to achieve its mission by contributing to the health, wellness, and happiness of the community. The organization is proud to participate in a program that shapes students’ lives through education and exposure to new career opportunities.
“When we look at the social determinants of health, this is a good way for Mercy Health to contribute to closing the gap,” said Maria Alvarez de Lopez, Manager of Community Benefit Programs.
According to the Community Development Venture Capital (CDVC), “Social determinants of health are conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.”
“Higher education provides better employment opportunity with health benefits,” said Lopez. “Better employment provides access to better living environments and better living environments greatly decrease health risks, positively impacting health, functioning and quality of life outcomes.”
Mercy Health Saint Mary’s will continue to foster the relationship with Grand Valley State University and the sHaPe program in order to continue impacting student lives and, in turn, impact the future of health care.
Contact: Maria Alvarez De Lopez, Manager of Community Benefit Programs