LMH Health launches leadership academy for high school students
LMH Health, in collaboration with USD 497, is launching the LMH Health Summer Leadership Academy in June 2019. The Academy engages high school juniors and seniors to give them a jumpstart on careers in health, medicine and the biosciences.
The Academy intends to cultivate a diverse group of students in an effort to build a workforce that better represents the communities served in healthcare. Preference will be given to students from demographics traditionally underrepresented throughout healthcare, including students of color and students from lower-income households.
“Creating the LMH Health Summer Leadership Academy aligns with an important part of our strategic plan – also known as Destination Health – that seeks to cultivate an environment of inclusion, diversity and equity,” said Russ Johnson, president and CEO of LMH Health. “We are excited to work with and mentor these students because they are our future community leaders.”
Three students will be selected to participate in the Academy through a paid eight-week internship. Their experience will include:
- One-on-one mentoring by senior leadership executives at LMH Health
- Monthly field trips, workshops and trainings
- On-site personal and professional development opportunities
- Volunteer opportunities
At the conclusion of the program, the students are invited to attend a celebration dinner. Each student will receive a $500 scholarship toward their college education if they successfully complete the Academy.
“Providing paid internships to students from low socioeconomic backgrounds speaks to the kind of measurable action steps we want to see as a product of our equity work,” said Dr. Anthony Lewis, USD 497 superintendent. “Just as our district wants to grow its own teachers, other businesses and organizations in our community should be thinking about building a pipeline from our schools to their future workforce.”
The Academy’s development is based on national and local evidence-based data. According to the CDC, though health indicators such as life expectancy and infant mortality have improved for most Americans, some minorities experience a disproportionate burden of preventable disease, death, and disability compared with non-minorities. Additionally, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department’s 2018 Health Equity Report outlines disparities in health by income and education. Key findings from this report show racial and ethnic minorities and residents in our community with low income are disproportionately impacted by inequities in social determinates of health.
“The purpose of the Academy is to build a healthy community through collaboration. It’s an opportunity for LMH Health and Lawrence Public Schools to partner, share strategies, and implement efforts to promote equity among future professionals in our community,” said Erica Hill, LMH Health’s Equity Advocate. “The Academy will provide an equitable opportunity for students to experience hands-on leadership development, even if healthcare is not their career of choice.”
“The LMH Health Academy is a step in the right direction and a true partnership in every sense of the word,” said Lewis. “I have always believed that our schools cannot do it alone. And, there I was, attending my Beyond Diversity training alongside a staff member from LMH Health. Both of us were there with the same objective in mind – to meet the needs of every student.”