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Naperville Community School District 203 Honors Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital

On-site program helping meet growing need for health professionals

CDH recipient honored with the 2017 Exemplary Business Partnership AwardWINFIELD, IL – With an aging baby boomer population and increased demand for medical services, employment in health care occupations is expected to continue to grow faster than any other industry, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. A partnership between Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital (CDH) and the Naperville School District 203 is helping meet the need by preparing high school students for fulfilling careers in the health care field. In recognition of this long-standing commitment to the Health Occupations program, District 203 has honored CDH with the 2017 Exemplary Business Partnership Award.

Twice-a-week during the spring semester, nearly 50 Naperville Central students start their day at CDH to learn about the breadth of clinical expertise, education requirements, and career possibilities in healthcare. Students meet with health care professionals, and participate in experiences that they would not be able to receive in a classroom. Each visit is unique and may include hands-on activities, panel discussions, tours and small group presentations.

“An important aspect of the Northwestern Medicine mission is to advance medical science and knowledge,” said Ruth Caron, Coordinator, Student and School Partnerships at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital. “The Health Occupations Class is a perfect opportunity to do that by getting high school students interested in healthcare careers.”

To understand the diversity of medically-related professions, students learn about health care jobs that require advanced medical training, as well as health care support jobs in human resources, spiritual care, security and administration. CDH professionals engage with students and encourage open dialogue about their aspirations and hesitations about the field in hopes of guiding them down the path best suited for them.

“These authentic job site experiences include hands-on learning and the resulting deeper understanding students gain from mentors in the workplace,” said Julie L. Carlsen, Director of Community Relations, District 203. “It is not possible for us to prepare our students for careers in health care without the support of our award recipients.”

The program is open to juniors and seniors. Participants receive high school credit hours to meet science requirements, and dual credit may be offered at College of DuPage and other collegiate programs.

“The Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital staff look forward to the program each year. Our staff are impressed with the students’ attention and knowledge about many of the careers and their eagerness to learn more,” said Caron.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates healthcare occupations will grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024 adding about 2.3 million new jobs over that span. Healthcare occupations will add more jobs than any other group of occupations.

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