Leitha Johnson, division director of clinical education programs at HCA Healthcare Center for Clinical Advancement during student virtual orientation.

Oftentimes, a student may have an interest in medicine but may not have an opportunity to get exposed to it. That’s what makes this new partnership with Hillsborough Community College (HCC) and HCA Florida Healthcare special.

To kick off the Health Science Explorers (HSE) shadowing program at HCA Florida Brandon Hospital, Leitha Johnson, division director of clinical education programs at the HCA Healthcare Center for Clinical Advancement, hosted a virtual orientation to this exciting program that gives high school students an opportunity to walk in the world of a caregiver. Students interested in pursuing a career in health care will shadow and be mentored by Brandon Hospital caregivers in multiple departments, including pediatrics, emergency care and surgery.

“We are excited to support local high school students interested in pursuing a rewarding role in the health sciences field. These students will learn about different specialties they are interested in from caregivers right here at Brandon Hospital. This is exactly the kind of journey I would have loved to have the opportunity to participate in when I was in high school. By providing mentoring, our caregivers can help students discover job roles that are a good fit for them,” said Dr. Michael Haynes, emergency room physician at Brandon Hospital.

The Hillsborough Community College Foundation created the Health Science Explorers (HSE) program with a $50,000 grant from the HCA Healthcare Foundation. High school students participate in round-robin activities that explore the health science field of their choice through this simulation experience. As a participant in the program, the students receive a set of HSE scrubs, a CPR kit and training, a Stop the Bleed kit and training and a validated blood pressure monitor and training. These students will also attend a panel discussion of industry experts, including leaders from HCA Florida Healthcare. 

This program runs for two semesters. Students who complete all HSE program days will be put into a drawing for an HCC Foundation scholarship. Five $1,000 scholarships will be awarded during the Spring Learn and Lunch event in February.

Accredited by The Joint Commission, HCA Florida Brandon Hospital is a 479-bed acute care facility that is nationally ranked as a Top 100 Hospital by IBM Watson. It is located at 119 Oakfield Drive in Brandon. For more information, visit www.hcafloridabrandonhospital.com.

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