The Academy, a program that gives 10 Reno County high school students work experience at Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System (HRHS), recently concluded its ninth summer with a banquet in the Pavilion. To date, 90 high-achieving high school students have participated in the program and a number have used the Academy as a first step in launching a career in healthcare.
The students spend 18 hours per week at HRHS rotating through multiple departments including Nursing, Imaging Services, Heart and Vascular, Outpatient Rehab, Surgery, Horizons Mental Health Center, Health-E-Quip, and Hospice & HomeCare of Reno County. A series of Lunch N’ Learn sessions provide time for the Academy members to interact with healthcare professionals in Administration, Finance, and Human Resources.
This year’s class included a cross section of Reno County high school students including five representatives from Hutchinson High School, one from Trinity Catholic High School, three from Buhler High School, and one from Pretty Prairie High School. Class members from Hutchinson High School were Colby Akins, Zachery Bryan, Emma Dillon, Gillian Eddington, and Isabelle Kongable. Other members of the class were Anthony Clennan from Trinity Catholic High School, Benjamin Helus, Hailey Meggers, and Brittany Teufel from Buhler High School and Kai Smith representing Pretty Prairie High School.
Qualifying for Academy is no easy task, requiring a 3.25 overall grade point average and the same in science-related courses on a 4.0 grading system. Prospective students complete a lengthy application followed by an interview with a selection committee comprised of HRHS staff members.
Academy participants are evaluated throughout the eight-week sessions and are required to prepare a PowerPoint presentation summarizing their experience in the program. Class members Kai Smith and Isabelle Kongable were each awarded $500 scholarships at the conclusion of the graduation banquet.
Allen Fee, chairman of the board for HRHS, addressed the graduates and labeled Hutchinson Regional “the front porch of the city” and noted the many employees have given 20 to 40 years of service to the organization.
Ken Johnson, President and CEO of HRHS, said it is a joy each summer for the Hutchinson Regional team to spend time with a group of the best and the brightest of Reno County youth. “It is an invaluable experience and we learned as much from the class members as they did from us,” Johnson said “We can only hope that some of the class members will choose to apply for permanent employment at Hutchinson Regional after completing their next level of education.”
Entities within Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System are Horizons Mental Health Center, Hospice & HomeCare of Reno County, Health-E-Quip, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center and Hutchinson Regional Medical Foundation.