By Lesley DeVoss—
MUNCIE, IN – Over the eight-week summer semester at Ivy Tech Community College Muncie-Henry County, 14 high school students hailing from schools across Delaware County participated in the Ivy+ Healthcare Academy, powered by United Healthcare. These students successfully completed five skills training sessions and three Ivy Tech courses, earning four and a half credits from Ivy Tech.
The Healthcare Academy was conceived through a collaborative effort between United Healthcare and Ivy Tech, aimed at ensuring the future of healthcare in Indiana. The Healthcare Academy had 14 high school students dedicated to completing the academy, gaining valuable life skills to support their future careers in healthcare.
Jennifer Gasiorek, Vice Chancellor of Workforce Partnerships and Strategic Communications said, “When exploring the idea of the Healthcare Academy, Ivy Tech Muncie was excited to become the first campus in the state to offer the program. We were so proud that these students sacrificed their summer to focus on their education and investing in exploring future career paths.”
Mackenzie Pryor, a senior from Monroe Central High School, shared her experience, saying, “I learned a lot about CPR, sutures, and tourniquets – things I’d mostly seen in movies. This program helped me realize my passion for medical imaging, and I’m grateful for that. It was truly enjoyable.”
Participants in the academy earned certification in CPR, acquired skills in wound stitching, stop the bleed, TB tests, and blood draws. They also learned to create effective resumes and develop essential soft skills required for healthcare professionals. These included understanding ethical conduct, HIPAA compliance, professional attire and communication, and interacting with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Jack Roberts, a sophomore from Burris Laboratory School, reflected on his experience, saying, “I learned professionalism, student success, and customer service. One of my favorite parts was visiting the hospital and seeing everything firsthand.”
A highlight for many participants was a field trip to Indiana Health Ball Memorial Hospital. Here, they wore protective bunny suits, which completely covered their clothing to maintain a sterile environment in surgical suites. They observed the sterilization processes, material management, and the workings of the surgical admissions unit.
Maci Ramsey, a recent graduate of Delta High School, shared her enthusiasm, saying, “My favorite experience in this Healthcare Academy was when we went to Ball Memorial Hospital. We got to see how everything is sterilized, how things work, and we got to wear the bunny suits all day.”
Rebekah Ireland, Executive Director of K-14 Initiatives, expressed her confidence in the students, stating, “If these students are any representation of the future of the Muncie Community, the State of Indiana, and the state of healthcare, I’m not afraid and neither should you be. These students are smart, funny, caring, helpful, kind, bold, intuitive, and inquisitive. They are problem solvers and world changers. Our healthcare future is in highly capable hands.”
The program culminated in a completion celebration on July 27, where students showcased the skills they had acquired during the academy. Family members, Ivy Tech staff and faculty, as well as United Healthcare representatives, joined in celebrating their achievements.
Keith Mason, Regional Director for Growth and Strategy at United Healthcare, acknowledged the students’ efforts, stating, “We provided some treasure, and Ivy Tech provided the talent, time, and developed the academy. Then you, the students, provided the rocket fuel. You have the skills to do it. I know it’s super scary when someone needs help, but Ivy Tech gave you the skills to do it.”
“We appreciate the partnership and support of United Healthcare for allowing us to do this important work together in the community,” Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann said. “We recognize our students’ commitment, and the skills they have developed will make them more likely to pursue critically needed healthcare professions and provide them with both college credit and immediately marketable skills.”
To learn more about the Ivy+ Healthcare Academy, click here to view the promotional video.
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns to the needs of the community. The College provides seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a Bachelor’s degree. Follow Ivy Tech on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for the most up-to-date information.