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Pimlico middle schoolers train to be future healthcare leaders

Sinai Hospital doctors share expertise, life lessons with Health Sciences students

Baltimore’s Pimlico neighborhood is a hub of health learning and study, as future medical leaders explore how to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. There’s also a hospital! 

Seventy-five students at Pimlico Elementary/Middle School are immersed in an intensive, three-year STEM curriculum based on the human body, with guidance from the experts at LifeBridge Health Sinai Hospital, just down the street. 

Through visits and demonstrations with Sinai’s doctors, surgeons and other experts, the students in the Middle Grades Health Sciences program are exploring careers in high-paying health professions that deliver crucial services to their community. 

“My favorite part of the curriculum was when we had the cardio doctor visit us, and we got to see the model of the heart,” said sixth-grader Harmony. “We also learned what to do if someone is having a heart attack. This is preparing me for the future because it could save someone’s life one day. And it’s good to know how the heart works, because then you know what foods or exercises are good for it.”

Sixth-graders in the program study the history of healthcare, with a focus on technology. In seventh grade, students shift to the cardiovascular and digestive systems. Debuting in the coming school year, the eighth-grade curriculum will concentrate on the nervous and reproductive systems in addition to legal issues in healthcare and medical ethics.

“Our curriculum is packed with great STEM content and opportunities for social emotional learning,” said Pimlico science teacher Matthew Owens. “Exploring medical careers and meeting experts shows students how important it is to find your passion and the hard work it takes to succeed. Most importantly, the kids are so engaged in the program. We had an additional eight students join in the middle of the year when they saw all the fun their friends were having.”

From the beginning of sixth grade, it’s clear to students that this is an immersive, hands-on curriculum. When they enroll in the program, they receive a lab coat and participate in a “pinning ceremony” modeled after the symbolic commissioning of new nurses. During a special visit from the hospital’s trauma team, they earn their “Stop the Bleed” training certificates, learning to pack wounds and treat victims in an emergency.

“It’s important for us to make this an authentic experience for the students,” said Martha Nathanson, LifeBridge Health’s Vice President, Government Relations and Community Development. “As an anchor institution in Pimlico, it's our duty to make a positive impact in the neighborhood. We had great support from City Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton, who connected us with school and civic leaders who recognize the importance of teaching kids about in-demand, high-paying careers right in their neighborhood.”

No matter which career path they take, the students in the Middle Grades Health Sciences program are learning important lessons in healthy living that will benefit themselves and their community.

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