Healthcare High School Set to Open in Chicago

The Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy high school to train tomorrow’s healthcare professionals.  The Chicago Public School system (CPS) is moving proactively to train tomorrow’s medical professionals – starting at the high school level.  This coming fall, CPS will open the doors at Chicago’s inaugural charter high school specializing in healthcare education, a move that local hospitals believe will help relieve shortages in their workforces.  The Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy’s 160-member freshman class, which was chosen by lottery, will concentrate their studies on math and science.  Juniors and seniors will earn credits by working with hospital employees and serving internships as assistant nurses or in other healthcare specialties.  The goal is to prepare the students for jobs in healthcare, pharmacy technicians and assistant physical therapists.

“There’s a tremendous need for us to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals,” said Juan Salgado, president of the Instituto del Progreso Latino, a non-profit career-development organization based in Chicago’s largely Hispanic Pilsen neighborhood.  “If we don’t do a better job of that in our city neighborhoods and communities of color, we’re going to fall short.”  The Instituto is one of approximately 100 created under Renaissance 2010, Chicago’s plan to open innovative schools in deprived neighborhoods.

Initially, the Instituto will share space with the Chicago campus of National Louis University at 122 South Michigan Avenue.  At some point, it will move to a permanent site in the Pilsen neighborhood.  In March, Chicago-area hospitals had openings for more than 3,000 registered nurses, according to statistics provided by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.  Additionally, hospitals have openings for physical therapists, pharmacists, lab technicians, computer experts and other professionals.

“The shortage of nurses and allied health professionals continues to exist, and it’s going to become a bigger problem,” said Kevin Scanlan, CEO of the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council.  “This is an innovative program that relies on hospitals to provide opportunities to students.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply