East County News Service
Photo: from left to right: GHD board members Randy Lenac, Gloria Chadwick; from GUHSD -- Paul Dautremont, Mary Nishikawa, Heather Peterson, Dr. Tim Glover (superintendent); GHD board members Michael Emerson, Virginia Hall, Robert “Bob” Ayres
October 9, 2017 (La Mesa) -- The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) has awarded a $202,500 grant to the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) in support of the GHD Health Career Pathways Initiative. The grant will provide curriculum materials, support and instruction for approximately 2,500 high school students interested in pursuing healthcare careers during the 2017-2018 school year.
GHD officials said the goals of the Health Career Pathway Initiative are to better prepare students interested in health and medical post-secondary programs, increase awareness of healthcare career opportunities, and provide real-world relevant experiences in healthcare.
Students at eight GUHSD schools, including El Cajon Valley, El Capitan, Granite Hills, Monte Vista, Mount Miguel, Santana, West Hills and Valhalla, will be enrolled this current school year in science classes offering special instruction relating to healthcare careers, including medical biology, medical chemistry and medical anatomy and physiology. These students also will have internship opportunities available at local hospitals and medical facilities, GUHSD officials said.
“Collaboration is critical in the training of future healthcare industry leaders,” said Tim Glover, GUHSD superintendent. “We are grateful for the unwavering support over the years from the Grossmont Healthcare District on behalf of our students who benefit from individualized attention and an excellent education as they study the available options for a career in the rewarding field of healthcare.”
“It’s vitally important to develop a qualified healthcare workforce for future generations,” said Michael Emerson, 2017 GHD board president. “We’re proud to support this program that focuses on career awareness, workplace skill and science preparation at the high school level.”
Launched in 2002 at West Hills High School ands upported by the Grossmont Healthcare District since its beginning, the program has drawn participation from more than 20,000 students, according to Heather Peterson, Health Career Pathways coordinator. She said past participants are now working as doctors, emergency room nurses, gene therapy researchers, physical therapists, veterinarians and biology and chemistry teachers.
“We are very grateful to the Grossmont Healthcare District for their long-term vision to support this initiative,” Peterson said. “The GHD Health Career Pathways Initiative provides the orientation and guidance that most high school students need to become more aware of healthcare career opportunities, and better able to navigate through career training at the college level and beyond.”
Peterson said that the GHD grant also will help lay the groundwork for expanding the program over the next few years to other GUHSD schools and East County high schools.
The Grossmont Healthcare District is a public agency that supports various health-related community programs and services in the East Region. Formed in 1952 to build and operate Grossmont Hospital, GHD now leases operations to Sharp HealthCare via a public-private partnership, and continues to own the hospital on behalf of local taxpayers. The District is governed by a five-member board of directors, each elected to four-year terms, who represent more than 500,000 people residing within the District's 750 square miles in San Diego's East County. For more information about GHD, visit www.grossmonthealthcare.org.