Program Promotes Heart Health and Medicine Careers to High School Girls
An innovative program from Northwestern University’s Institute for Women’s Health Research aims to engage a diverse group of high school girls from Chicago in learning experiences to explore the basic science, clinical applications and career options in a variety of science disciplines. The Institute for Women’s Health Research created the Women’s Health Science Program that offers several different academies each with a different science discipline focus, and this year Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute partnered with the program for the first time to expose high school girls to careers in cardiology through the Cardiology Summer Academy.
The program also aims to teach young women about the importance of a heart-healthy lifestyle and developing healthy habits such a proper nutrition and exercise at a young age. As heart disease remains the number one killer of women, clinicians are hopeful that the program inspires more women to pursue careers in cardiology and to develop healthy habits early on. Cardiology
“The bottom line is that we need more women in the cardiology field, they will drive the research forward and will force the medical community to focus even more on women and heart disease,” said Martha Gulati, MD, associate medical director of the Center for Women’s Cardiovascular Health at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and program director of the Cardiology Summer Academy.
“We developed this program to help foster the academic and career pursuits of high school girls interested in science and medicine, and to show them real life examples of career paths they might consider,” said Megan Faurot, director of Education Programs, including WHSP, for the Feinberg School of Medicine’s Institute for Women’s Health Research.
Gulati and Faurot agree that the first year of the program was a great success, and look forward to the second class next summer. For more information about the Women’s Health Science Program, visit http://whsp.northwestern.edu/.