What: Summer Health Institute Community Advocacy Project: Diabetes

When: 1pm Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Who:Monterey County students participating in SVMHS Summer Health Institute
program provide diabetes education at YMCA

Where: Salinas Community YMCA
117 Clay St., Salinas, CA 93901

Visuals: High school students presenting diabetes education to YMCA youngsters
and engaging them in health and wellness topics

Interviews: Students at SVMHS Summer Health Institute are spending five weeks
learning about healthcare careers. Community outreach and
education are part of their projects.

Students enrolled in the Summer Health Institute program at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) are taking their new health and wellness knowledge into the community. Two groups from the summer program will be presenting their Community Advocacy projects on Thursday, July 14th to children at the Salinas Community YMCA.

“We’re excited to teach these kids what we have learned about a national health crisis - diabetes,” says Summer Health Institute student, Jacqueline Leon. “Type two diabetes can be managed and even reversed with proper diet and exercise. This project allows us to raise community awareness.”

The Community Advocacy project is part of the five week Summer Health Institute program at SVMHS which gives students interested in healthcare a backstage pass to hospital operations, mentors and training in various medical fields. This presentation at the YMCA will focus on diabetes and basic nutrition, is aimed at children ages 5-10, and will include prizes and hands-on activities that reinforce the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

“Every year, our organization helps inspire the next generation of healthcare professionals with hands on learning and experiences in the medical profession,” says program coordinator Shannon Graham. “We hope the students who participate in Summer Health Institute will pursue a career in medicine and come back and serve their community.”

The Community Advocacy presentations reflect a culmination of classroom instruction, hands-on learning and lab work. Summer Health Institute provides an opportunity for high school students interested in healthcare to focus on quality patient care and outstanding outcomes. Applicants undergo a rigorous selection process. This year, 18 students represent various high schools throughout Monterey County including Alisal, Carmel, North Salinas, Notre Dame, Salinas, and Seaside.

“This program has been a great experience,” says Summer Health Institute student, Dionna Menchaca. “I want to be a labor and delivery nurse and I am so grateful for everything I was able to see and learn at Salinas Valley Memorial.”

For the past 13 years, staff and physicians at SVMHS volunteer to work with Summer Health Institute students through lesson plans, exercises and internships designed to help the students develop career skills while emphasizing the importance of teamwork.

In addition to knowledge and skill based learning at SVMHS, the students also received a week of instruction at Hartnell College in Salinas and enjoyed a field trip to Stanford Hospital and Clinics in Palo Alto. Students have presented their case studies under the guidance of a mentor and after the Community Advocacy presentations, will celebrate their accomplishments and completion of the program during a graduation ceremony.