“What’s My Next” Campaign Aims to Stem the Critical Workforce Shortage in Laboratory Medicine
Westminster, Calif./June 6, 2016—Westminster High School, in Westminster, Calif., is the lucky winner of a Makerbot Replicator 2 3-D printer and a $500 gift card to be used to introduce students to the inner workings of a pathology laboratory and understand the variety of lab professional careers available in the burgeoning healthcare industry.
Westminster student Jesus Cerda, a sophomore, won the printer for the school as part of the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s “What’s My Next” campaign, to expand students’ awareness of the medical laboratory profession among high school students and stem the critical workforce shortage in the medical laboratory. The What’s My Next contest led students through a variety of interactive online activities to expose them to exciting career opportunities in laboratory medicine and pathology.
Cerda won out of more than 200 students nationwide who participated in the contest. As part of the contest, ASCP awarded a $500 gift card to Cerda’s teacher, Huy Pham, who teaches biotechnology and chemistry. “In today’s world, science and math are critical learning skills for students,” said Dr. Pham. “We are greatly honored to receive this recognition from ASCP.” As for the 3D printer’s usage, he said, enthusiastically, “I am thinking about making model cells, organs, and prosthetics under a bioengineering unit for the school.”
The printer and gift card will be presented to the school by Ms. Cheryl Germain, MHS, PA(ASCP)CM, an ASCP volunteer who is also director of the Pathologists’ Assistant program at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, Calif. The Pathology Department at Loma Linda contributed an additional $500 to the school, bringing the total cash prize to $1,000.
After awarding the 3-D printer and $1,000 in prize money, Ms. Germain gave a hands-on educational presentation to 120 students at the school to talk about what medical laboratory professionals do on a daily basis.