Exposing kids to the ‘diversity of health care’: Inaugural Youth Summit a rousing success

May 26, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership,

The weather may have been dreary, but it was all smiles and laughs at the inaugural Youth Summit at the Big House regional outreach event.

On Saturday, May 21, Michigan Medicine welcomed 200 local middle schoolers to Michigan Stadium for a daylong experience outlining career opportunities in health care.

The children participated in hands-on simulations, networked with professionals and made personal connections with Michigan Medicine faculty, staff and learners.

They even got to spend some time enjoying the field!

“Opportunities and exposure to possibilities early in life can powerfully shape one’s future,” said David J. Brown, M.D., associate vice president and associate dean for health equity and inclusion and associate professor of otolaryngology. “It was so energizing to see the middle school students as they did endoscopic simulations, looked at cells under the microscope, learned about speech pathology, respiratory care and rehabilitation, were given information about the revenue cycle, built their own BASE framework and many, many other amazing activities we do at Michigan Medicine every day.”

The Office for Health Equity and Inclusion was joined by more than 35 Michigan Medicine departments who cheerfully volunteered and offered such collegiate-level exposure to medical professions often unseen and underrepresented in mainstream career planning.

“Not only did the Youth Summit open the students’ eyes and minds to so many opportunities, but it also opened the possibilities of being a health care worker at Michigan,” Brown said. “I’m inspired by the future of health care and science that is sprouting in our local communities, and I’m greatly appreciative to all the Michigan Medicine faculty, staff and learners who engaged with the students and created an educational and fun experience for all.”

David Miller, M.D., M.P.H., president of U-M Health, echoed those thoughts.

“What I’m seeing for the kids who are here is incredible joy,” Miller said. “The opportunity to learn about health care, to do it in a fun environment, to share it with each other, and to do it in a way that is inclusive and representative of the community, it’s helping us support and inspire the next generation of health care leaders.”

View the photo gallery above for an inside peek at the day.