Mount de Sales Students Apply New Skills to Enhance Downtown

By June 15, 2017In the News

Staff Report From Middle Georgia CEO

Navicent Health extends its congratulations to the Mount de Sales Class of 2017, and its appreciation for the many students in this class who have contributed to care at Navicent Health throughout the past year. The health system was also pleased to learn that a group of these students are applying skills learned at Navicent Health to enhance downtown Macon’s appeal to teens.
During the 2016-2017 academic year, 15 select MDS seniors participated in Navicent Health’s Senior Transition Experience Program. As part of this 14-week program, the students gaining practical experience in healthcare administration, clinical operations, research, innovation, project management and process improvement. After a visit to Spark Macon, a downtown maker space, five of these students were inspired to launch a broad student-led initiative to enhance downtown Macon’s appeal for other students.

“A lot of kids, after they graduate high school, don’t think of returning to Macon. Our students’ ultimate goal is to foster fond feelings about Macon and have them think of this as a place to return to following college graduation,” said Laura Schofield, Director of Institutional Advancement for MDS.

Applying skills gained through hands on learning at Navicent Health, the students have applied for the Community Foundation of Central Georgia’s $20,000 Downtown Challenge Grant with the intent of founding the student-led Macon Impact Club. The club would originate at MDS, with the hope of replicating similar clubs at other area high schools, and with the goal of making downtown attractive and exciting for teenagers through a combination of projects.

“After their visit with Navicent Health to Spark Macon, the five students envisioned the club and its potential impact, researched funding opportunities, spoke with people in the area to collect ideas, processed those ideas and organized other students to carry out their plan. They have discussed ways of creating a replicable model that can be used at other schools. All of this organizational processing is a benefit of the training they received at Navicent Health. We are very hopeful they will be awarded the grant so they may implement their plan,” said Simeon Sessley, Executive Director of Center for Disruption and Innovation, Navicent Health.

If awarded the Challenge grant, the members of the Macon Impact Club would coordinate various service projects intended to enhance downtown. Proposed projects include the development of Snapchat filters for various downtown landmarks and attractions, and creating an Instagram-able wall, a piece of moveable public art that would provide a background for photos.

“One of the values of our partnership with Navicent is that students have learned about processes, how those processes work, how to work as a group to analyze and carry out projects to create specific change. Those skills have been put into practice with their plan for the Macon Impact Club,” said Schofield. “If awarded the grant, these graduating seniors plan to work through the summer to train and organize the next set of leaders to carry this project forward.”

Navicent Health and MDS partnered in 2014 to found the STEP program, an internship designed to permit highly qualified high school seniors the opportunity to explore career options. In 2016, Navicent Health and the Bibb County School District replicated the program for highly qualified Bibb County seniors and staff. Through the programs, students are challenged to go beyond basic healthcare by participating in Navicent Health’s Lean/Six Sigma training program. Lean Six Sigma is a highly disciplined, data-driven methodology applicable in any industry, training students to improve processes and reduce expenses while growing revenue and managing resources. In 2017, Navicent Health’s Center for Disruption and Innovation began to partner with students to design, code and prototype patient-centered apps for IOS and Android.

“These programs allow Navicent Health to connect with some of the brightest young minds in central Georgia and give them an opportunity to solve real-world problems that affect their community. Developing these skillsets will be essential in preparing future generations to address shifting challenges in the years to come, whether in healthcare or other industries – success will only happen with a strong presence in, and collaboration with, the community. We are pleased to have played a small role in their education, and wish these students future success as they pursue this grant and further education,” said Christopher Cornue, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer for Navicent Health.

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