By Yan Kennon
Naval Hospital Jacksonville Senior Writer

Naval Hospital (NH) Jacksonville kicked off its 2016-2017 Science, Service, Medicine and Mentoring (S2M2) program Nov. 22 at Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts.

About 90 ninth and 10th graders attended the kick off.

"Naval Hospital Jacksonville's Science, Service, Medicine and Mentoring program is tremendous because it gives each student a wealth of information to help them make an informed decision on pursuing health care careers and taking responsibility for their futures," said Osama Zakaria, Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts assistant principal.

Nine NH Jacksonville clinicians, including the executive officer, were on hand to share personal experiences, inspirational stories, and pathways available to pursue health care careers.  Hospital clinicians included an orthopedic physician, dentist, obstetrician/gynecologist, pharmacist, family medicine resident physician, two nurses, and two independent duty corpsmen.  

Two S2M2 student alumni also shared past experiences from the S2M2 summer internship at the hospital.

Following the panel discussions, break-out sessions enabled students to hear first-hand about the clinicians' unique role in healing the nation's heroes through Navy Medicine. 

About a dozen of Darnell-Cookman's rising 10th and 11th graders will be selected (by the school) for NH Jacksonville's summer internship.  Participants will partake in workshops, clinical rotations, and real-world medical experiences in 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.   

"S2M2 presents an incredible opportunity for Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts students to see Navy Medicine in action," said Capt. William Todd, NH Jacksonville executive officer and orthopedic physician. 

"Students also get a chance to speak one-on-one with representatives from the various Navy Medicine corps and learn the routes they took to be successful and make a difference."'

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.  Its goal is to encourage students' commitment to science and medicine in a friendly 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 & sciences.  

The school recently made the Washington Post's list of the most rigorous public schools in the nation.

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