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BUFFALO, NEW YORK; August 24, 2009-On July 30, 2009, and August 24, 2009, Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMC) held the culmination and awards ceremonies for its second annual comprehensive self development ECMC Summer Youth Program for area high school students entitled A Summer Youth "Pathways to Healthcare" Educational Program.  The program, which took place during the 2009 summer vacation period, included sessions for two groups of 50 students each.  The first session was conducted in July, the second in August, providing 100 students from 25 area high schools with opportunities for self-development by exposing them to a variety of hospital-based health careers.

The July culmination ceremony featured as keynote speaker, from the University at Buffalo and Jefferson Family Medicine Center, Jeanette L. Figueroa, MD.  The August culmination ceremony featured as keynote speakers: City of Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown and Urban Family Practice physician Raul Vasquez, MD, FAAFP.  Speakers who further encouraged the teenagers included: ECMC Corporation Board of Directors Chairperson Sharon L. Hanson and Chief Executive Officer Jody L. Lomeo.  The ECMC Lifeline Foundation partnered with First Niagara Bank to sponsor the ECMC Summer Youth Program.  First Niagara Vice President Leslie Garrity along with Lifeline Foundation Vice President Penny Morgante and Lifeline Executive Director Gia Coone were on hand during the events to further encourage the students and represent their organizations. 

ECMC Corporate Training Director Rita Hubbard-Robinson directed the youth program and the culmination ceremonies.  Participating teenagers received certificates for successful program completion.  Teenagers attending the August session, in addition to certificates, also received their CPR certifications.  Many in both sessions earned special recognition awards.  ECMC internship site supervisors and coordinators were on hand during the award ceremonies along with Western New York-area high school administrators, teachers, and parents.

"This program was created to stimulate interest in employment in health services and to help meet the future need for qualified personnel in this field, explained ECMC Corporate Training Director Rita Hubbard-Robinson.  "In addition to having internship experiences at ECMC, youth participants took part in seminars focused on health careers."

Participating high schools included: Amherst, Buffalo Academy of Science Charter, Buffalo - Visual and Performing Arts, Buffalo Seminary, Canisius, Cheektowaga Central, City Honors, Depew , East High, Frontier, Holy Angels, Hutchinson Technical, International Prep at Grover Cleveland, Kenmore West, Lafayette, Lancaster Central, Leonardo Da Vinci, Math Science Technology Preparatory, Mount Saint Mary, Nardin, St. Joseph's Collegiate, Tapestry Charter, Williamsville North, Williamsville East, Williamsville South. 

  A maximum of 50 students were accepted into the program.  Placements covered opportunities in: Radiology; Clinics; Administration; Nursing; Police Department; Human Resources; Finance Department; Rehabilitation; Nursing In-Service; Cardiac Units/Labs; Medical Library; Plant Operations; Purchasing. 

The criteria established and adhered to in the student selection process included: an 80% overall GPA; letters of recommendation from a counselor and either a math or science teacher; 14 years of age or higher; attendance of 10th, 11th or 12th grade in the Fall of 2009; working papers; consent form signed by a parent/guardian; an up-to-date immunization record; photo ID; Social Security Card/number; and completion of an interview.  Participating students were required to work two (2) six-hour days for a total of 12 hours per week, which included a one hour seminar, computer-based career exploration and career mentoring.  A certificate of completed hours was awarded to each participating student who completed a total of 36 hours during both three-week programs. 

MORE ABOUT ECMC CORPORATION: The ECMC Corporation includes an advanced academic medical center (ECMC) with 550 inpatient beds and 136 skilled-nursing-home beds, on- and off-campus health centers, over 40 outpatient specialty care clinics and the Erie County Home, a skilled nursing facility.  ECMC is the regional center for trauma, burn care, rehabilitation and is a major teaching facility for the State University of New York at Buffalo.  Most ECMC physicians, dentists and pharmacists are dedicated faculty members of the University.  More Western New York residents are choosing ECMC for exceptional patient care and customer service provided as a result of its Culture of Care

NEWS CONTACT:  Joe Cirillo at 716-898-4300 or jcirillo@ecmc.edu



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