Adventist Health Portland | Living Well | Fall 2023 5 The Eyes of a New Generation High school students get an inside look at health care careers How do you help the next generation consider careers in health care, especially if no one in their family has experience? Mission integration executive Dr. Terry Johnsson asked that question, and that’s how the Student Healthcare Leaders (SHL) program was born. “When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to volunteer at Adventist Health Portland,” he explains. “At age 15, spending time behind the scenes at a major medical center with a director, Beulah Stevens, was the chance of a lifetime. This experience showed me that I, too, could work in the medical field one day.” A priceless opportunity This after-school program offers high school students behind-thescenes and hands-on exposure to the health care industry. Students apply to the program and, if accepted, meet weekly to explore the clinical, technical and service roles that allow health care professional teams to deliver health, wholeness and hope. It’s a priceless opportunity, provided for free. “Besides the once-in-a-lifetime experiences, this program allowed me to talk and ask questions to doctors, CEOs, nurses and other hospital staff, which is something you can’t always just do on your free time,” says a graduate of the program. Unlike many programs, SHL considers which students might benefit most from learning about their potential in health care. That means participants come from diverse backgrounds and a wide range of GPAs. Since its inception in 2018, the program has hosted nearly 200 students representing 30 area high schools — from Beaverton and Camas to Portland, Gresham and Clackamas. SHL is excited to be hosting its 10th session this fall. One alumnus now works at Adventist Health Portland. Many others are in nursing or medical school or already working in health care. Chart your course If you are a high school student or know one interested in learning about health care careers, you can find information and an application at Under the watchful eye of surgeon and chief medical officer Wes Rippey, MD, students try their hands at using the da Vinci surgical robot.