Friday, July 27, 2012

MGHers share career insights with campers

CAMP COUNSELING: MGH presenters, from left, DeLelys, Warren and Nancy Stark, director of staff development in the Department of Pathology


 “Is it a potato?”

The campers gathered around the table to get a closer look at the photograph that each was convinced was the vegetable. They were fascinated to discover it was actually a human kidney before an organ transplant operation. That was one of the many things hundreds of attendees learned from MGHers who volunteered during a special July 11 health career fair at Camp Harbor View, located on Long Island in Boston Harbor.

“We answered all kinds of questions about science and health. It was a great opportunity for them to learn about so many different kinds of jobs,” says Michelle DeLelys, senior technologist in the Clinical Flow Cytometry Laboratory. “I think this program provides a good starting point for them as something to think about in the future.”

DeLelys was one of 22 volunteers from across Partners HealthCare who attended the inaugural career fair. Sponsored by Partners Community Health, the Health Explorers program seeks to engage campers’ curiosity about science, introduce them to the educational connections between school and health careers, and promote healthy choices and behaviors.

Gert Warren, medical technologist in the Histocompatibility Laboratory, says the campers were divided into small groups that rotated through the various speakers’ tables every 10 minutes. The MGH group brought test tubes, lab coats and a poster display to exhibit and spark conversation. “It was a great experience,” Warren says. “They were really smart, and many said they were interested in a career in health care.
I was able to tell them that lab work is a really interesting field and that there are so many different labs that fit so many different interests.”

Michelle Schwab MacDonald, supervisor of the Immunohistochemistry/Special Procedures Unit, shared stories of her “behind-the-scenes” job analyzing tissue samples to help patient care teams determine the best course of treatment. “They know about careers as doctors and nurses – all of the people they typically see – but there are so many opportunities out there. It was nice to be able to open their eyes to other options.”

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