Grace Knop, daughter of Ken and Tara Knop of Steeleville, IL is the winner of this year’s Healthcare Pathfinder Scholarship awarded by the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. Grace is currently attending Steeleville High School and will be attending Southwestern Illinois College in the fall with a plan to transfer to a university to study nursing. During her time in the Pathfinders program she was given confidence in her career choice. She said,
“It was incredibly beneficial to hear other healthcare professionals input on what they experienced when they first entered the medical field.”
Grace found the Pathfinders Program very beneficial to helping her make her future career choice. Nursing will be a great career for her as she already loves to spend time volunteering in the community, especially at events with children. She regularly assists at the Chester Grade School Family Fun Nights and at Lapsits at the Chester Public Library during the summer. When she isn’t at school, working, or volunteering she enjoys spending time outside hunting and hiking.
Grace was one of five students to participate in the 2017-2018 Medical Pathfinder’s Program conducted by Memorial Hospital. Additional students included: Mitchell Colonel, Zachary Zappa, Kaylah Hasemeyer, and Tayler Howie, all of Chester High School and Sierra Behiter of Christ Our Savior Lutheran High School of Evansville. Each student spent a total of 6 hours, job shadowing medical professionals on their choice of a medical path or a business path. Medical Path students spent time with doctors, nurses, sitting in on general surgeries and patient evaluations.
“It felt very authentic to dress up in scrubs and masks and get too actually be in the room during the procedures,” stated Zachary.
The students also spent time in the laboratory, with the cardio pulmonary department, and with the diagnostic imaging department. Business Path students spent time with various business departments of the hospital including Human Resources, Medical Records, Accounting, Marketing, and IT. Mitchell commented that, “overall, the whole experience was very enriching.” During their 6 hours, the students were evaluated by the staff they worked with and were asked to write an essay to summarize their experiences upon their completion. All five students were very professional during their time at Memorial and walked away with a better understanding of what it really takes to be a healthcare professional.
The Healthcare Pathfinder Program is offered every year to Seniors of area High Schools. Out of the students one is chosen to receive a scholarship to help them pursue their career.