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Med Camp gives teens the chance to check out careers firsthand

June 15, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

MONT ALTO, Pa. - Twenty-eight teenagers will be turning off "Grey's Anatomy" and "CSI" next week in favor of the show's real-life counterparts through Med Camp.

In its second year, the day camp will offer trips to Waynesboro (Pa.) and Chambersburg (Pa.) hospitals, Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center and Quincy Village Retirement Community. Lessons will be taught in labs, emergency rooms and Penn State Mont Alto classrooms.

The goal for the eighth- and ninth-graders is to "whet their taste buds and think about all the job opportunities in health care," said Kathy Donzella, a school liaison for Summit Health.

Students in the inaugural Med Camp especially enjoyed fingerprinting, searching for clues and determining weapon use in one class, said Renee Borromeo, who is a physical therapy instructor at Penn State Mont Alto.

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"They really liked the crime scene investigation day. ... We have a crime scene investigator from the Baltimore County (Md.) Police Department who comes to run it," Borromeo said.

Other courses include physics, nutrition and occupational therapy.

"It really introduces students who are interested in something health-care related to all the careers," Borromeo said.

"It's actually to get them interested in those spots that we're going to be short in and are currently short in. The younger you can capture their attention, the better," Donzella said, explaining that shortages will become more prevalent in the 270 health-care career fields as baby boomers age.

The camp, which is underwritten by The Summit Endowment and The Greater Harrisburg Foundation, is currently capped at 28, but Borromeo said additional funding will be sought to add more openings in future years.

All students are certified in CPR during Med Camp.

"Last year, the feedback was just awesome," Donzella said.

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