ACMC Academy included 10 students from seven schools across Ashtabula County. Students were honored during a special ceremony in early August. Students and administrators taking part in the program were (from left, front), Chloe Holcomb, Tiffany Ruks, Madison Irish, Melissa Robinson, ACMC President & CEO Michael Habowski, (back) ACMC Foundation Executive Director Tami Netkowicz, Katie Cumberledge, Braxtin Adams, Lilliana Adkins, Alexis Kicielinski, Zoie Simmons, ACMC Human Resources Director Jonathan Forbes, and Avery Czup.
As Ashtabula County students return to school and talk about what they did this summer, 10 of them will be telling about their experiences at ACMC Academy. The 2019 class of ACMC Academy represented seven schools across Ashtabula County:
- Edgwood High School – Senior Braxtin Adams, Junior Lilliana Adkins, Junior Chloe Holcomb, Junior Madison Irish, Senior Zoe Simmons
- Grand Valley High School & A-Tech – Senior Tiffany Ruks
- Jefferson Area High School – Senior Katie Cumberledge
- Lakeside High School & A-Tech – Senior Alexis Kicielinski
- Pymatuning Valley High School & A-Tech – Senior Melissa Robinson
- John School – Junior Avery Czup
ACMC Academy was created in 2008 to give high school students an opportunity to see the medical profession in action and to gain exposure to healthcare careers. Students intern an average of 24 hours per week side-by-side with clinical professionals in various departments throughout the hospital.
Each student was assigned to specific areas for several days at a time, working in nursing units, physician offices, and other departments. In some cases, they interacted with patients or observed direct patient care such as surgeries, labor and delivery, or rehabilitation therapy. Lunch periods were spent as a group, learning from both clinical and non-clinical professionals.
The eight-week program ended with a ceremony honoring the students and caregivers who worked with them. Each student gave a presentation and discussed the impact of their summer experiences in the ACMC Academy program.
Irish said she enjoyed the variety of working in the Emergency Department – meeting new people, working with a large team, and moving at a fast pace. “I learned it is important to take care of your mental health as well as your physical health.”
Robinson said, “Being a healthcare worker has always interested, as well as fascinated me. I have always been one to feel the need to save lives or at least help others feel better.”
ACMC President & CEO Michael Habowski congratulated the students for their participation and hard work.
“Healthcare is a major economic driver in Ashtabula County and ACMC is the county’s largest employer. ACMC Academy gives students the opportunity to see first-hand if a potential career in healthcare is for them,” Habowski said. “Our caregivers enjoy working with the students and this program would not be successful without the cooperation and teamwork of all our caregivers.”
In addition to the career experience learned through ACMC Academy, each student received a $500 scholarship, while Irish and Cumberledge were each awarded additional $1,000 scholarships.
ACMC Academy is funded through the generous support of the ACMC Foundation. ACMC Foundation Executive Director Tami Netkowicz, CFRE, said the foundation’s donors have remarkable impact on the community.
“The ACMC Academy program has great benefit for healthcare because it helps groom future healthcare workers. It’s helping our local students make sound education and career decisions,” Netkowicz said. “But we’re also seeing in recent years a growing number of our Academy students come back to ACMC for employment, and that has really powerful rippling benefits to the local community.”
ACMC will begin seeking the next class for the 2020 ACMC Academy early next year.