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Vanguard High School Students Visit the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center

The students heard professionals from different hospital roles speak.

To further our commitment to mentorship, the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center hosted a group of students from nearby Vanguard High School for a day of education and discovery. The 11th-grade students participated in tours, presentations, and demonstrations about the many different careers available in a wide range of occupations that are essential to the day-to-day operations of a hospital.

The students began their day with a tour of our Molecular Neurosurgery and Pediatric Neuro-oncology Research Labs. The students were able to view experiments in progress and ask questions to our research scientists. Once the students settled into the Neurological Surgery conference room, they first heard from Uvanda Reynolds, an executive assistant for the Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell about the importance of front line roles like unit clerks and growth opportunities afforded by learning other roles. Uvanda was inspirational in showing that change is always possible if you believe in yourself and others. Next, staff nurse and former surgical technologist Justin Martinez and physician assistant Allison Basham showed students what it was like to wear the personal protective gowns, gloves, and masks that are required in the operating room. Students were able to participate in donning surgical attire and demonstrating utilization of surgical instruments. 

In the next set of presentations, cytotechnologists Kirk Facey and Shanan Cazaubon taught the students about cytology; the students were able to view slides under the microscope. Marketing specialist Paul Bernabe presented the marketing department’s role in social media, photography, and event planning. Following him was Harry Linen, administrative assistant to Neurosurgeon-in-Chief Dr. Philip Stieg and Outstanding Service Award winner, who shared his background and his career journey. Harry motivated the students by showing them the power of virtues that can change the patient experience. Dr. Benjamin Hartley, a sixth-year neurological surgery resident, finished the day by presenting the PrIMES mentorship program, which was designed to bridge the diversity gap in healthcare education. He shared with the students a clear road map to becoming a doctor and the skills that are required. 

This mentoring collaboration across departments was spearheaded by Suzan Wollard, Physician Assistant in Neurosurgery and Neurology, and Lya Montella of Cytogenetics. 

Click the image icon below to launch a slide show of the day:

Neurological Surgery 525 E. 68th St., Starr 651, Box 99 New York, NY 10065