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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

Public school students explore careers with system pros

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Model skeleton bones and authentic blood-drawing demonstrations made learning fun and interactive Thursday, April 4, as Geisinger Volunteer Services held the first AIM HI event in Geisinger’s Northeast region. 

Approximately 80 students from the Dallas, Lake Lehman, Wyoming Valley West, Myers, Riverside, Valley View, Old Forge, Carbondale and Mid Valley school districts participated in workshops at Holiday Inn Wilkes-Barre – East Mountain that networked them with professionals in the fields of nursing, child life care, phlebotomy, radiology, pharmacy, emergency medical services (EMS), and orthopaedics

Teens in 10th and 11th grades heard passionate lectures from knowledgeable healthcare practitioners and were afforded the opportunity to hear their personal stories and ask questions. 

Geisinger Director of Volunteer Services Tina McDowell said the AIM HI event, which followed similar events held in Danville and Camp Hill, educated students about opportunities in specific career paths, not only in the Geisinger system but in healthcare as a whole. 

“It’s allowing students to explore areas they may not know exist,” McDowell said. “It’s so up-close and personal. Students get to talk to professionals in small groups. One student I observed asked, ‘How did you know this was right for you?’ It’s a personalized conversation.

“Plus presenters get to talk about their passion: what they do and why they do it.”

McDowell said the AIM HI event is made possible by funding received from Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which allows non-profit organizations like Geisinger to hold education- and community outreach-related events. 

Nova Preitz, a junior in the Riverside school district, said she’s particularly interested in nursing and that “it’s helping people who need help and being there for them” that draws her to the profession. 

From instructor Thea Hess, Preitz said she got insight into some challenging aspects of becoming a nurse. 

“I learned about the testing, how long you have to study and prepare,” Preitz said. 

Hess, a Bloomsburg nurse practitioner with 15 years’ experience, said she enjoys teaching students about the wealth of opportunity in the nursing field.

“It’s important to know the different levels of nursing,” Hess said. “And it’s important to know how far a career can take you.” 
High school students at Geisinger's AIM HI event listen to a presentation.
Veteran nurse practitioner Thea Hess, center, discusses the wealth of options in the nursing profession with a group of interested public school students from school districts in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties.

For media inquires:

R. Matthew Mattei
Senior Communications Specialist

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