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Kent State University Hosts High School Students for Healthcare in Progress Program

Posted July 23, 2012 | Foluke Omosun
enter photo description
The Rev. Ron Fowler, special assistant to Kent State
President Lester A. Lefton for community engagement,
speaks to high school students at the Kent Student Center
during the Healthcare in Progress workshop.

Kent State University recently hosted high school students from Akron Public Schools during a three-day workforce and career development workshop organized by the Healthcare in Progress program (HIP). The HIP program exposes and prepares groups of diverse students from underrepresented populations in Northeast Ohio for careers in healthcare by introducing them to various medical fields in educational and hospital settings.

Thirty-three students participated in the workshop at Kent State. The students were selected based on their areas of interest and recommendations from counselors and science or math teachers within Akron Public Schools.

The Healthcare in Progress program was founded in 2000 as a collaborative effort among area hospitals and universities in response to the need to develop a pipeline of talent for the future workforce of local hospitals.

“This partnership is designed to meet the ever-changing career needs of the state of Ohio by providing high school students and parents with increased knowledge of new and upcoming career opportunities,” says Geraldine Hayes-Nelson, Ph.D., executive director of Human Resources Outreach and Initiatives at Kent State. “Equipping Akron students early on with exposure to the demands of future needs within the healthcare workforce helps to create a seamless pipeline from middle to high school, and then to college and medical school.”

Associate Vice President Alvin Evans, Division of Human Resources, challenged the students to think beyond getting a job, to developing a career and to be willing to transform their skills to compete in a changing workforce.

“Many of the jobs that exist today will change or no longer exist in the future,” Evans says.

Students were taught based on an all-inclusive curriculum on career and college expectations that was developed by the HIP committee. The students also participated in rotations at local hospitals.

Various Kent State colleges, departments and programs presented to the students during the workshop, including the Admissions Office; the colleges of Nursing and Public Health; the School of Health Sciences; University Libraries; and the Hospitality Management and Speech, Pathology, and Audiology programs.

The Rev. Ron Fowler, special assistant to Kent State President Lester A. Lefton for community engagement, delivered the welcome address on the first day of the workshop. Fowler challenged the group to be open and use the program as an opportunity to learn as much as possible about themselves and their future careers.

Healthcare in Progress is sponsored by Akron Children's Hospital, Akron General Hospital, Austen Bioinnovation Institute, Kent State University, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Summa Health System and The University of Akron.

For more information about the Healthcare in Progress program and Kent State’s involvement, contact Hayes-Nelson at or 330-672-8075.