|Bridging the Gap through Education
|submitted by Cynthia
August 24, 2009 | 08:52 AM
Buses, books, backpacks and shots can only mean one thing…its back-to-school TIME again. While families are stockpiling everything from clothes to notebooks to help their kids have a successful school year, associates at Advocate Christ Medical Center and Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital are helping students ‘make the grade’ by offering plenty of smart programs.
One in particular that gets right at the heart of education is the medical center’s Live…From the Heart program. Since 2003, Christ Medical Center has partnered with the Museum of Science and Industry to offer students from across the country a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch a real-time “live” broadcast of an open heart surgery being performed at the medical center.
“Every Wednesday at 9 a.m., students in grades 8 through 12 get a dramatic exploration of the human heart via a two-way interactive video conference in which students can speak directly with a team of experts during the procedure,” said Gail Prokop, community relations coordinator. “It is an unbelievable chance for students who are dreaming of pursuing a career in medicine.”
Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Star Schools, Live…From the Heart has helped to inspire and motivate more than 17,000 high school students and demand to participate in the program is growing.
Another major back-to-school initiative that is growing is the medical center’s annual school supply drive. This year, the community relations department is once again teaming up with equipment processing and distribution to sponsor the school supply drive through September 8.
“We have been working with EPD for the past 10 years to support homeless students and needy schools,” said Prokop. “Thanks to our associates, we have delivered hundreds of boxes packed with school supplies to needy children all across the Chicagoland area.”
Last year, students who attend the Lawndale Community School in Chicago were surprised with a very special delivery of school supplies for every child in need.
“There are simply no words to describe how much these supplies mean to our kids,” said Patricia McMahon, Lawndale Community School liaison. “Most of their parents can barely afford food, let alone the extra supplies it takes to make sure their children are successful in the classroom. To our students, these supplies give them access to a brighter future, a chance to dream big…and every child deserves that.”
The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile also is serving as another VITAL tool to help students stay healthy while achieving their dreams.
In partnership with Ronald McDonald House® Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, Hope Children’s Hospital helps staff the ‘clinic-on-wheels.’ Physicians, nurses and students assist regular staff in providing free pediatric health care services to children in underserved areas.
“On average, we visit schools and communities across Chicagoland at least 200 times a year for physicals and immunizations,” said Jacqueline Evans MS APN. “In fact, we’ve already served more than 600 students and provided more than 800 vaccines.”
Evans says the Care Mobile is a lifeline for the schools and families who need it most.
“The benefit is priceless…in most cases, our Care Mobile is the only access to health care these students have and we are extremely proud to be providing them the compassionate care they deserve.”
For more information about the Live…From the Heart program, please contact Gail Prokop at 708-684-3288. For more information about the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, please contact Nancy Mabbott, community relations coordinator, at 708-684-3293.