Memorial Hermann and Aldine ISD move ahead with HEAL partnership

Officials from Aldine ISD and Memorial Hermann gathered on Tuesday, May 21 to celebrate their partnership in the HEAL (Health Education and Learning) program that will begin at the start of the 2024-25 school year.

The program, will be phased in over four academic years, will serve approximately 760 students at capacity. It is part of a first-of-its-kind $250 million initiative led by Bloomberg Philanthropies that is connecting health and education systems to create new CTE high schools in 10 urban and rural communities across the country. HEAL is supported by an initial $31 million investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Students will be able to choose one of five in-demand pathways. Those pathways are:

•Nursing

•Physical and Occupational Rehabilitation

•Medical Imaging

•Pharmacy

•Non-Clinical Medical Administration

HEAL will offer work-based learning (in a hospital and clinic setting) and classroom-based experiences, which will include guest lecturers, workshops and mock hospital simulations. Additionally, HEAL will include a Memorial Hermann Mentorship Program starting in the ninth grade and continuing one year after graduation. Volunteer opportunities will begin in the ninth grade and employment opportunities will begin in the 11th grade. Also, a Summer Infusion Program beginning with eighth graders will enhance their knowledge and skills in professionalism with stipend opportunities in the 11th grade. HEAL graduates will also have a guaranteed, priority interview at Memorial Hermann for pathway positions.

At the celebration, officials from Aldine ISD, along with a student who will be part of the first HEAL class, and Memorial Hermann delivered remarks.

Chief Transformation Officer Dr. Adrian Bustillos, who coordinated the program on behalf of Aldine ISD along with Memorial Hermann personnel, said he was excited for what HEAL will mean for Aldine ISD students.

“Thank you for joining us as we celebrate a new and exciting chapter in the partnership between Aldine ISD and Memorial Hermann,” Dr. Bustillos said. “We are deeply grateful to our Memorial Hermann partners, whose unwavering support and collaboration have been instrumental in creating a curriculum and learning environment where our students will thrive. Connecting students to their career interests through career readiness and trade exposure is critical to student success and families.”

Aldine ISD Board of Trustees President Dr. Kimberley Booker said the HEAL program will provide AISD students with opportunities for good paying careers.

“Aldine ISD has been working on numerous projects to increase students’ access to high-quality schools and programs and HEAL is one example of the direction we are moving forward with,” she said. “It has shown significant promise to increase students’ access to high-quality schools and programs. I am proud to share its success with you today. This is a huge moment for the district.”

Dr. Booker then introduced Ariana Guzman, who will be a member of the inaugural HEAL class. She will participate in the Medical Imaging pathway beginning with the 2024-25 school year.

Ariana is currently an eighth-grader at Teague Middle School. She said she has always wanted to work in a profession where she can help others, and HEAL will provide that opportunity for her.

“Since I can remember, I have always had a passion for helping people and doing what I can to make their day better,” Ariana said. “I’m excited to take a big step towards entering my career. I’m excited about the new courses I’ll be able to take, and I’m excited that I get to follow my passion. Making sure I am as prepared as I can be is important to me and getting a head start in the field I want to go into is important to me and that is what HEAL offers. I will be able to get real experience towards a career field I have always wanted for myself, and when I do walk that graduation stage, HEAL will be what gave me an early advantage.”

Bryan Sisk, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive, delivered remarks on behalf of Memorial Hermann. Sisk thanked Aldine ISD for working with Memorial Hermann to make HEAL a reality and said HEAL is just the start of things to come.

“HEAL is a new way to collaborate,” Sisk said. “HEAL has the opportunity to open doors to so many other pathways. This is a monumental shift and this is just the beginning. What we learn here, we can teach to others.”

Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney delivered closing remarks. She thanked Memorial Hermann for its partnership with Aldine. Dr. Goffney added HEAL can mean so much to Aldine ISD students.

“Connections, collaborations and partnerships, it’s what makes the world go round,” Dr. Goffney said. “Our organizations’ challenges are huge, too big to do it alone. It is a blessing that our visions and goals align perfectly, allowing us to join forces and make significant progress. Our Aldine and Memorial Hermann teams, through their collaborative efforts, have been diligently ensuring that every detail and resource is available to our students. Memorial Hermann’s expertise in healthcare and wellness is instrumental in the success of the HEAL program. We are deeply grateful to our partners at Memorial Hermann for their invaluable collaboration. Your expertise and support are instrumental in the success of the HEAL program, and we couldn’t have done it without you. I extend our heartfelt gratitude to our partners at Memorial Hermann for their invaluable collaboration on behalf of everyone in Aldine. This is truly an exciting time in Aldine as we continue to transform the lives of our students and communities.”

Following Dr. Goffney’s remarks, attendees watched as the HEAL sign was unveiled on the front wall of Nimitz Ninth Grade School.

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