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Robert Schmitz

BJC team members inspire youth to pursue heath care careers

BJC team members helped inspire more than 500 seventh-grade girls at the third annual Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics (STEAM) event, held March 13 at Saint Louis University. The event, organized by STEAM Education, is designed to provide STEAM-related experiences and opportunities for seventh-grade girls from across the state.

The girls observed educational presentations and engaged in hands-on activities in STEAM areas. For example, a paramedic demonstrated CPR on adults, toddlers and infants, and pharmacy staff demonstrated how to mix medicine.

BJC School Outreach and Youth Development partnered with health care professionals from across BJC to provide the event’s health-related presentations and interactive career exhibit activities in:

  • laboratory
  • pharmacy
  • facilities/engineering
  • radiology/3D printing
  • St. Louis Children’s Hospital Healthy Kids Express
  • respiratory
  • EEG
  • sleep medicine
  • medical technology
  • nursing
  • Siteman lung-screening program
  • performance improvement
  • Young Athlete Center
  • supply chain
  • paramedic/EMS

“The STEAM event makes it possible to show the girls there are many fields in which to have careers in health care,” says Sandra Young, retired St. Louis Children’s Hospital human resources and marketing and communications vice president, who helped facilitate the event before her retirement. “Research shows that engaging girls in this age group influences them to seek careers in one of the five fields — science, technology, engineering, arts or mathematics.”

St. Louis Children’s Hospital clinical laboratory staff presented activities to make the girls feel as if they were working in the lab. “We had stations that represented some of the departments and different testing we do in the lab,” says Lisandra Morales, SLCH lab technologist. “We talked about clinical lab careers and lab safety — and had them wear personal protective equipment. We also featured phlebotomy, hematology, chemistry and point of care. We tried to make it a fun learning experience.”

Adds Jennifer Irvin, BJC school-community health education partner, “This ties directly into our mission and our areas of focus within BJC School Outreach and Youth Development. And I want to send a big ‘Thank you’ to the entire team of more than 41 professionals for making this career event such a success.”

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