By Yan Kennon
Public Affairs Senior Writer, Naval Hospital Jacksonville
Naval Hospital (NH) Jacksonville kicked off its 2017-2018 Science, Service, Medicine and Mentoring (S2M2) program on Nov. 14 at Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts.
About 80 ninth and 10th graders attended the kick-off.
"Through Naval Hospital Jacksonville's S2M2 program, our students learn about and experience medical careers, how to work as a team and what it takes to get to the next level," said Tyrus Lyles, Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts principal. 
Six NH Jacksonville clinicians, the commanding officer, and the executive officer shared personal experiences, inspirational stories, and pathways to pursue health careers.  Hospital clinicians included two physicians, a dentist, pharmacist, nurse, and an independent duty hospital corpsman.  Two S2M2 student alumni also shared past experiences from the 2017 S2M2 summer internship at the hospital.
Following the panel discussions, break-out sessions enabled students to hear first-hand about the speakers' unique roles in healing the nation's heroes through Navy Medicine.
The school will select about a dozen of Darnell-Cookman's ninth and 10th graders for NH Jacksonville's summer internship.  Participants will gain real-world medical experiences by rotating through outpatient, inpatient, and surgical areas of the hospital.  Students also participate in a bones and joints workshop, experience the simulation laboratory, and learn how Navy hospital corpsmen prepare to provide care on battlefields.  
"With S2M2, students get to talk to the Navy Medicine clinicians who keep our nation's sailors, Marines, and their families healthy, ready, and on the job," said Capt. David Collins, NH Jacksonville commanding officer.
"And we get the privilege of helping to grow the next generation of health scientists." 
Science, Service, Medicine and Mentoring (S2M2) was originally developed in 2004 by the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and adopted in 2010 by NH Jacksonville.  S2M2's goal is to encourage students' commitment to science and medicine in a welcoming and intellectually nurturing environment. 
Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts is a Blue Ribbon school, providing high performing students with an advanced academic curriculum, including an overview of the professional medical fields.  The school equips students for future success in college and graduate school.  In 2007, it became the nation's first 6th-12th grade college-prep program with a focus on medical arts and sciences.  The school again made the Washington Post's list of America's Most Challenging High Schools.