ORANGE PARK, FL, June 24, 2021 – This month Orange Park Medical Center welcomed nine local high school students into their summer teen volunteer program. The program, which began in 2006, accepts up to twenty students each summer. The students have an interest in working in the healthcare industry and participate to gain experience in the medical field. Each student spends over 100 hours throughout their summer shadowing hospital staff and assisting staff and patients with simple duties.

This year’s program welcomed students from a variety of high schools in the area including Jacob Markham and Alexandra Price from Fleming Island High School, Zachary Lustrea from Bartram Trail High School, Jianna Garabiles from Paxon School for Advanced Studies, Alana Bonilla-Lopez from Orange Park High School, Isabella Laos from Bishop Kenny High School, Mia Morin from St. Johns Country Day School and Abir Aftab from Darnell-Cookman High School.

The students began submitting their application in the early spring and are required to meet specific requirements such as being a junior or senior and planning to seek higher education in the medical field. The students also attend an orientation program and receive infection prevention and other patient safety focused education.

While in the program, each student will have the opportunity to engage with patients by meeting their non-clinical needs such as supplying them additional pillows, blankets and other supplies when needed, guiding visitors to their loved one’s rooms, as well as other secretarial work that will help the teens learn more about working inside a hospital.

The students will be volunteering at the hospital’s inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation centers on campus, in the radiology department, medical-surgical nursing units, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), women’s center and the catheterization lab, also commonly known as a cath lab.

At the conclusion of the summer program, all of the students will have the opportunity to apply for a $1,000 scholarship that can be applied towards a healthcare-related education. Two scholarships will be granted. The scholarship is funded by Orange Park Medical Center’s volunteer program board. The board and adult volunteers at the hospital hold fundraisers and operate a gift shop inside of Orange Park Medical Center to raise funds that supply scholarships like this and other charitable donations throughout Clay County.