Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Contra Costa County Annual Health & Bioscience Career Fair

An impressive group of local education, health care businesses, and health care organizations came together to present a conference for more than 450 Contra Costa County high school students that share an enthusiastic interest in the fields of health, health care, and bioscience, at this year’s annual Contra Costa County Health & Bioscience Career Fair. The extraordinary educational opportunity was held on March 4, at the Marriott Hotel in San Ramon.

At left, students from San Ramon Valley High ROP Sports Medicine Class (l-r) Gabrielle Patton, Jennifer Just, Bonnie Hagmaier (Teacher), Jordon Bosso, and Mackenzie Emerson.

The majority of attending students are currently enrolled in bioscience and health-care ROP and School-to-Career programs provided by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) and their representative schools. On hand, were a number of students from CCCOE ROP Sports Medicine classes. During the Career Fair, the students participated in a number of workshops that feature such topics as Technology and Health, Laboratory Medicine, Imaging, and Pre-Hospital Care. In addition, the students were able to meet directly with 19 local bioscience- and health-care-related exhibitors to talk to, interview, and learn more about the arena they are looking to enter after graduating high school.

The conference kicked off with an insightful and upbeat keynote presentation, made by Brian Feeley, M.D., orthopedic surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco, Sports Medicine Center. Dr. Feeley championed the day’s conference and the opportunities it offered the attending students: “I really wish I had such program to attend when I was your age.” Dr. Feeley talked about his education and career path, which included earning his undergraduate and medical degree from Stanford University, and then completed his hospital residency in orthopedic surgery at the UCLA Medical Center. He finished his sports medicine fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, where he also served as and assistant team physician to the New York Giants.

The presenting sponsors of the Contra Costa County Health & Bioscience Fair were John Muir Health, Sutter Health, and Kaiser Permanente. The event was produced in cooperation with the Contra Costa County Office of Education, Contra Costa Economic Partnership, Hospital Council, Contra Costa Community College District, and the Contra Costa Health / Bioscience collaborative.

“The Health and Bioscience Career Fair is a wonderful opportunity for our ROP and School-to Work teachers and students to learn more about the wide range of career opportunities that are available,” says Louise Barbee, coordinator with the CCCOE. “We received a lot of positive feedback from everyone involved today: students, teachers, and sponsors!”

Students attending represented the following Contra Costa County high schools: Ygnacio Valley H.S. (Concord), San Ramon Valley H.S. (Danville), Monte Vista (Danville) H.S., Richmond H.S. (Richmond) California H.S. (San Ramon), Mt. Diablo H.S. (Concord), Middle College H.S. (San Pablo), Heritage H.S. (Brentwood), and De Anza H.S. (Richmond).

All of the day’s vendors and presenters were very impressed with the overwhelming enthusiasm and interest the students displayed, as well as the number of great questions that were asked.