Maroons in Health Sciences---An A+ in Education and Community Partnerships

A partnership formed between Mercy College of Health Sciences, Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines and Dowling Catholic High School in 2011 has resulted in ­the unique opportunity for Dowling students to learn and experience a variety of health care professions first-hand.  “We are giving students the ability to explore careers in all aspects of health care from nursing to physician care to health care administration,” says Heidi Pierson, Maroons in Health Sciences Program Coordinator at Mercy College.  

In July 2012 the Maroons in Health Sciences Program was awarded a generous three-year grant from Catholic Health Initiatives Mission and Ministry Fund to support the operational needs of the program.  Additionally, medical professionals throughout the area are donating countless hours of in-kind educational support to the program.  “We were thrilled to receive this level of support from CHI as well as area medical professionals and community partners.  Through these partnerships we are helping students to consider their options in becoming a health care provider,” relates Brian Tingleff, Vice President External Affairs Mercy College of Health Sciences.

The Maroons in Health Sciences Program is open to interested sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  Students are selected for participation through an application process. Each grade level participates in an eight month series of classes and experiential learning opportunities at Mercy Medical Center, Mercy College of Health Sciences, Des Moines University, and other community organizations enabling them to fully explore a wide breadth of health care professions.  Senior level students participate in job shadowing experiences while juniors are given the opportunity to work one-on-one with Polk County Public Health initiatives. As an added bonus, each student receives a cardio-risk assessment along with strategies to improve their own personal health.

Currently, 72 Dowling students are enrolled in the Maroons Program and are giving high reviews to the speakers and the information they are learning.  The guest medical professionals are equally impressed with the caliber of students considering health care as their career and are excited to share their knowledge with what we hope is the next generation of health care providers.

If you are interested in learning more about the Maroons in Health Care Program, please contact Heidi Pierson at 515-643-6779. 

 
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