Inspiring the Next Generation of Healthcare through STEM – Ochsner’s STAR Program

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Ten Percent. The greater New Orleans area is 10 percent ABOVE the national average of Healthcare job growth over the last 10 years according to GNO, Inc. and the growth isn’t stopping.

What did you want to be when you grew up – a lawyer, an astronaut, a scientist or a doctor? If you wanted to be a doctor, did you know what type – maybe a pediatrician, an orthopedic surgeon or a cardiologist? What about other healthcare career paths like a registered nurse, medical assistant or a physician’s assistant?

Check out this article previously published on NOLA.com about Nikole Alvarez – a 2018 STAR scholar and rising senior at Grace King High School.

This summer, 16 high school students from schools across Southeast Louisiana spent four weeks delving into the world of healthcare through the 12th annual Ochsner STAR (Science, Technology, Academics, Research) Program – a rigorous, tuition free program for high school students interested in pursuing education and careers in science and medicine.

The 2018 STAR students participated in a mix of hands on experiences, conducted Medical Research with PhD Scientists, while also developing their professional skills and leadership training. They met with more than 150 Ochsner employees from more than 50 departments and specialties across the Ochsner Health System.

Program highlights included:

  • Hands-on training with innovative surgical technology including the DaVinci Surgical Robot and the MAKO Robot
  • Clinical skills workshops led by University of Queensland – Ochsner Clinical School medical students
  • CPR certification
  • Five Medical Research experiments with PhD Scientists simulating: Cervical Cancer and Diabetes Screenings, testing Antibiotic Resistance, Genetic testing for Cancer Risk (Precision Medicine) and blood-typing.
  • Innovation Seminar with Dr. Richard Milani

The students also spent quite a bit of time in Ochsner’s Clinical Simulation and Patient Safety Center and visiting several Ochsner campuses. This year, the STAR Scholars led a day-long hands-on science day at the Kenner Discovery Community Works summer camp for 100 younger students.

Visit Ochsner.org/STAR to learn other ways you can participate in STAR and other similar programs.

Ochsner is committed to fostering the next generation of healthcare providers through developing comprehensive P-12 education initiatives, supporting STEM experiences and investing in career awareness. By providing students with practical learning and innovative educational opportunities, the STAR Program is helping students discover what they are passionate about and explore possible career paths.

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