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Together, Penn Medicine and SHIELD Focus on the Community… and the Future

SHIELD at Sim Ctr 004What do the songs “Stayin’Alive” by the Bee Gees and “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen have incommon? And – what could they possibly have to do with health care or savinglives? Well, as it so happens, both songs have a steady rhythm of 100 beats perminute. The “hands only” method of CPR, as now set forth by the American HeartAssociation, requires continuous chest compressions of 100 per minute. Thismeans both tunes can provide the perfect soundtrack for administering life-savingCPR. This was just one of many things a dozen students from the William L.Sayre High School learned at a cardiopulmonary resuscitation class hosted forfree by Penn Medicine at its Clinical Simulation Center.

It should be noted here that theLead CPR Instructor Chet Zaremski,did not recommend singing “AnotherOne Bites the Dust” aloud as that’s a sure way to upset cardiac arrest victimsand bystanders alike.

On a clear February Saturdaymorning, the students were first given a tour of Penn’s Simulation Center andthen received detailed CPR instruction and guidance from Zaremski and Gregg Lipschik, MD, director of Life Support Training and Special Programs at theClinical Simulation Center. Students, each equipped with his or her ownresuscitation mannequin and equipment, learned the complete process of CPR,including how to: identify if a person is in cardiac arrest; perform “hands only”CPR compressions; perform compressions with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation – witha mask and without; and usean Automated ExternalDefibrillator.

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The Penn Medicine Clinical SimulationCenter, located at Penn Medicine atRittenhouse, provides training tophysicians, students, and health care professionals from all across the Universityof Pennsylvania Health System, the Perelman School of Medicine, neighboring institutions and the global health care field tocontinually improve patient safety and satisfaction with increased efficiency.The Center is equipped with state-of-the-art medical simulation technology allhoused in a 22,000 square foot facility that includes human patient simulatorsset in realistic hospital setting ideal for both team and individual training.

The class came to the “Sim Center” (as it’saffectionately referred to throughout Penn Medicine) as a result of the Sayre Health Initiatives, Education andLeadership Development (SHIELD) program.

Developed in the fall of 2011, SHIELD is a healthprofessions education program developed through collaboration between the Dr. Bernett L. Johnson,Jr., Sayre Health Center, the William L. Sayre High School and Penn Medicine.The mission of SHIELD is to teach high school-aged students the medical skillsand knowledge necessary to obtain a medical assisting certification, provideclinical experience so they can utilize what they’ve learned and providementorship – all in a safe and secure environment – so students can succeed incollege and obtain gainful employment. The SHIELD program is just one of aseries of Penn MedicineProgramsaimed preparing students for success on the path to a career in medicine.

“SHIELDand programs like it are so important because it gives students the opportunityto really understand what it means to be a health care professional,” said Kenya C. Hall, MSW, Sayre Health CenterEducation Director who took the CPR class with the students. “Many times,students say they want to work in health care, but have no idea what thatmeans. We work to teach students the knowledge and skills necessary to becomemedical assistants by teaching and exposing them to clinical trainingenvironments through partnerships such as the one with the Penn MedicineClinical Simulation Center and at the Dr. Bernett L. Johnson, Jr. Sayre HealthCenter. Through these experiences, it is my hope that students gain anunderstanding of what it means to be a health care professional and take thatunderstanding and training with them into their future career whether it be amedical assistant, doctor, nurse, radiology technician, etc.”

Located at 59th and Locust Streets, the Dr.Bernett L. Johnson, Jr. Sayre Health Center brings modern health care to itssurrounding West Philadelphia neighborhood, offering services provided byphysicians in Penn's Department ofMedicine and Community Health. The Sayre Center is unique among communityhealth centers because of its educational and mentoring mission. Students fromSayre High School actively work in partnership with students from Penn andlearn how to perform basic medical services. Through this partnership, studentshave the opportunity to shadow doctors and nurses and get a jump start on thepursuit of a medical professional career and learning personal and professionalskills necessary for the workforce.

“I came to know and respect Dr. Bernett Johnson throughhis roles both as Academic Liaison with our VA hospital, and also asa dermatolopathologist through my wife's position as a dermatologistat Penn," said Dr. Lipschik, “The SHIELD program embodies Dr.Johnson's vision of providing students with experience, skills andmentorship in an environment where they can feel safe and empowered, to helpsteer them toward college and a career. We're proud to be able toparticipate.”

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