Wilmington’s youth interested in health care can participate in a new program launched by ChristianaCare and JPMorgan Chase & Co. this week that aims to build a more diverse and inclusive industry workforce.
It is specifically for teens ages 16 to 18 from low-to-moderate income households within the greater Wilmington area.
The program, Health Impacts, is a year-long program.
“At ChristianaCare, we embrace diversity and show respect to everyone,” said Dia Williams Adams, vice president of philanthropy at ChristianaCare. “Providing exposure to health care careers at an early age and building pipelines to employment are key components to building strong and healthy communities.”
According to a report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the current number of medical school matriculants does not mirror the population of Black and Hispanic people in the United States.
About 7% of students in medical schools are Black and 9% are Hispanic. In comparison, Blacks make up 14% of the country’s population, with Hispanics representing 17%.
The NIH also reports that Blacks and Hispanics make up less of the healthcare workforce proportionally to their population in America.
Health Impacts will include an intensive training program in which teens will learn from ChristianaCare health professionals about workforce development skills and the characteristics essential for career success.
The training program will be followed by a nine-month paid internship that culminates with employment opportunities at ChristianaCare. It is not clear how much the interns will be paid.
During the internship, students will receive additional career coaching and participate in work-based learning assignments to help them develop skills, such as effective interviewing, relationship-building and a strong work ethic.
“There are fantastic opportunities in healthcare today that can match up with a wide variety of interests and provide young people with a career path that offers financial stability and growth,” said Kamela Smith, manager of community education and engagement at ChristianaCare.
The personal rewards of doing work that helps others is also a major attraction to the field, she pointed out.
“This program is an exciting opportunity to expand our local health care workforce while inspiring young people in our community to be the next generation of caregivers,” she said.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
Jarek can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at (215) 450-9982. Follow him on Twitter @jarekrutz
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