‘CI:Healthcare’ program a success for Ascension Parish students

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Ascension Parish students from left to right are (front row) Brea Allen, Brandilyn Amorello, Kendaijia Barrow, Alexis Bateman, Madelyn Bourgeois, (middle row) Lizzy McDowell, Maryn Cavalier, Skyler Deroche, Brooklyn Gordon, Shelby Leveron, (Back row) Julie Schexnaydre, Christian Logarbo, Destin Gustave, and Cameron Wallace.

Central Louisiana Area Health Education Center (CLAHEC) and Our Lady of the Lake College (OLOLC) in Baton Rouge recently presented the “CI:Healthcare” program for high achieving high school juniors and seniors. This unique program was a one-day interactive experience that provided students the opportunity to explore nursing and allied health fields. Students rotated through different departments to gain experience from a wide variety of medical career choices.

On Friday, Jan. 17, 47 students were able to investigate and participate in several health care fields such as Nursing, Clinical Lab Science, Surgical Technology, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Therapy, Physical Therapist Assisting, Health Services Administration, Career Awareness, and Biology/Human Medicine. Students were given the opportunity to observe firsthand various procedures used in each field. They were able to interact with OLOLC students and faculty and ask questions about specific career choices. They participated in many “hands-on” activities to get a feel for the various disciplines.

Attending were Madelyn Bourgeois, Skyler Deroche, Brooklyn Gordon,

Shelby Leveron, and Cameron Wallace from St. Amant HS; Alexis Bateman,

Maryn Cavalier, Destin Gustave, Christian Logarbo, and Julie Schexnaydre from Dutchtown HS; and Brea Allen, Brandilyn Amorello, Kendaijia Barrow and

Lizzy McDowell from East Ascension HS.

Lizzy McDowell is quoted as saying “I had so much fun today. I loved how I got to do a lot of hands on experiences and got to participate in a lot more things.” Alexis Bateman said, “Today’s experience was very helpful! I have gained a greater knowledge of the healthcare programs and jobs in the healthcare field. I recommend this program for other high school students in Allied Health.” Destin Gustave said, “I really enjhoyed attending the CI:Healthcare program. It was very insightful as to college life and the healthcare field.” Kendaijia Barrow said, “The best look into medical health care professions anyone can experience, and it is the best opportunity I’ve every gotten.”

CLAHEC is a non-profit, community-based agency that serves as a training and information resource for health and education professionals for a 17-parish region. A primary goal of CLAHEC is to identify local needs and develop programs that will encourage young people to consider a career in healthcare and to practice in rural and underserved communities where their services are urgently needed. Nan Ewing, program coordinator, states that “the CI:Healthcare program is an excellent tool for students to enhance their understanding of many different healthcare fields, obtain knowledge and experience from seasoned professionals, and to learn about programs offered through Our Lady of the Lake College.”