• Fri. Mar 24th, 2023

‘Imagine Me’ panel shows Battle Creek students what is achievable in overall health care


Mar 19, 2023

BATTLE CREEK — Marcus Glass could not support but tear up a small bit Thursday morning on his drive to Battle Creek Central Higher College.

The 1991 BCCHS graduate, now a healthcare laboratory scientist with Bronson Healthcare, was eager to speak with students about his journey in overall health care as a Black man. But the feelings tugged at him as soon as he began speaking.

“In some cases you do not think you can do it unless you see it,” Glass mentioned. “What was fortunate for me was that I didn’t necessarily, expanding up, have people that looked like me, but I had persons that invested in me, that helped me.”

Recognizing that ladies and minorities are historically underrepresented in overall health care professions, Glass and other overall health care experts from Bronson took to the stage of the McQuiston Studying Center inside Battle Creek Central Thursday to engage in a panel discussion with students dubbed “Envision Me.”

Panelists discussed their varying paths in overall health care and their passion for their respective jobs. They fielded inquiries from students about the profession though also encouraging students to pursue their personal dreams for the duration of the almost 90-minute occasion.

“I feel it is pretty significant for Black and brown kids, adolescents to see a person like me in the neighborhood to support them comprehend that this can be for you as nicely,” Dr. Sylvia Hicks-Fox, a Bronson pediatrician, mentioned.

Elishae Johnson, a licensed expert counselor and technique director of business enterprise overall health solutions at Bronson, graduated from Battle Creek Central in 1999 and at present serves on the Battle Creek Public Schools Board of Education.

If nothing at all else, she desires students to know they can make an influence in their personal neighborhood post graduation.

“I know that a lot of instances persons hear, ‘You could possibly have to leave to get superior possibilities,'” Johnson mentioned. “I want our youth right here to know that there are possibilities right here and that Battle Creek Public Schools seriously does generate some seriously astounding talent ideal right here.

“There’s a lot of disparities in terms of Black and brown people who go into our field. I seriously want (students) to wrap their heads about approaching mental overall health careers and see this as an chance.”

Cultivating a pipeline

Ja’Nyah Stewart had no clue what profession she wanted to pursue when she initial got to Battle Creek Central.

She figured she’d give overall health care a shot. Though the initial year of classes was hard, she’s been in a position to get a true taste for distinct overall health care occupations on-web page applying the school’s Wellness Care Simulation Lab. She now aspires to be a neurosurgeon.

“It is a correct mastering knowledge just getting in right here and figuring out that when you step by means of the door, I’m not Ja’Nyah Stewart, I’m Dr. Ja’Nyah Stewart, that future neurosurgeon that I aim so really hard to be,” the senior mentioned. “I seriously take pleasure in it right here and I would absolutely suggest it for anyone.”

The facility, which opened in the fall of 2020, capabilities an array of stretchers, tables and lifts, a replica of an ambulance and even “practice individuals” in the kind of completely articulated mannequins.

Kellogg Neighborhood College and Grand Valley State University offer you dual-enrollment courses on-web page, in addition to overall health occupations and nursing courses led by BCCHS employees.

“I’m pondering the majority of higher schools ought to have some thing like this, but it is not standard,” mentioned Kaijehl Williams, a senior at BCCHS.

Williams also aims to pursue a profession in overall health care, with interest in becoming either an orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon.

“I’m grateful for (the sim lab), it is provided me a head start out,” Williams mentioned. “All of these possibilities I’m grateful for, and I’m just taking benefit of them mainly because why not (do it)?”

Utilizing gear in the sim lab, students find out how to take a patient’s important indicators and how to effectively transport or feed individuals, amongst other capabilities. 

BCCHS overall health occupations and nursing instructor Deana Waterman mentioned the sim lab is “all about exposing and instruction future overall health care providers.”

“If you currently know you want to go into overall health care like I did when I was 15, we are obtaining you the instruction in higher college,” Waterman told the Enquirer in Could. “If you are not seriously positive, you can nevertheless get exposed and then you can (choose), ‘Yes, I feel I want to go on in this,’ or, ‘No, I absolutely do not want to do that,’ versus obtaining out of higher college and ending up with student loan debt for some thing you do not want to do.”

Hope for the future

A 2019 report by the Association of American Healthcare Colleges located that 56.two% of physicians in the United States are white, 17.1% are Asian, five.eight% are Hispanic, five% are Black, and .three% are American Indian or Alaska Native.

The quantity of Black, Hispanic and female applicants and enrollees continued to boost at U.S. healthcare schools for the duration of the 2022-23 academic year.

“To see the talent that is right here (in Battle Creek) is motivating for me,” Bronson Healthcare President/CEO Bill Manns mentioned shortly following touring the sim lab and speaking to students Thursday. “These young males and ladies seriously have vibrant futures. The excellent of the inquiries that had been asked was astounding. Possessing noticed the simulation lab, what they have access to and listening to their stories and aspirations and dreams seriously gave me hope for the future.”

Bronson’s CEO mentioned Battle Creek’s sim lab is comparable to other simulation labs he’s noticed in healthcare schools. To have that chance for hands-on mastering at the higher college level, he mentioned, is extremely unique.

“Becoming in overall health care, I appear at the pipeline,” Manns mentioned. “When you see what’s taking place right here in this higher college and how ready these students will be for the future jobs, it tends to make me smile.”

Ahead of embarking on the path that eventually led him to turn out to be Bronson’s president/CEO, Manns believed he would be a doctor. A college internship eventually shifted his sights toward overall health care administration, a story he shared Thursday as a reminder to students that “you can pivot and nevertheless be profitable.”

“If I can have a compact function in assisting a person along the way, then I’m pleased to be right here,” Manns mentioned. “For these students to see leaders of colour up on that stage, I feel it suggests an awful lot.”

Get in touch with reporter Greyson Steele at gsteele@battlecreekenquirer.com