TBRHSC ACE Program Gives Career Experience to Aboriginal Students

Participants and organizers of the ACE Program wrapped up the first successful Open House. The program helps introduce Aboriginal students to a variety of career options within health care.

Aboriginal students are given a special sneak-peak of different career options available in health care through Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre’s (TBRHSC) new Aboriginal Career Experience Program (ACE).

“The ACE program is a great way to expose Aboriginal students to a variety of departments within the Health Sciences Centre,” explains Carmen Blais, Aboriginal Engagement Lead, TBRHSC. “The tours, presentations, and hands-on experiences provide the students with a good understanding of how our hospital works, and the many different career paths that are available to them within health care.”

Approximately 20 students from Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School (DFCHS) attended the program’s first Open House – a half-day session that included an overview of the hospital environment and various career opportunities. Students interested in continuing on with the ACE Program will participate in eight more half-day ‘learning sessions’ that explore different career options within the health care environment.

“Our students were given an up-close and personal look into a lot of what goes on behind the scenes in the day-to-day operations at TBRHSC. They saw a wide assortment of employment opportunities that exist and they met a lot of interesting people from diverse backgrounds,” says Greg Quachegan, DFCHS Guidance Counselor. “The kids enjoyed the afternoon visit and found it very informative. We look forward to continuing the ACE program with TBRHSC. We are also hopeful that the success of this program could act as a catalyst in encouraging other similar initiatives and partnerships with businesses and organizations throughout the city of Thunder Bay.”

Kenneth Kakekagumick is shown the steps of intubation during the Operating Room (OR) tour of the ACE Program open house.
Kenneth Kakekagumick is shown the steps of intubation during the Operating Room (OR) tour of the ACE Program open house. Kakekagumick says he found the day’s events interesting, and particularly enjoyed the OR and Research portions of the tour.

TBRHSC hopes the program will inspire Aboriginal students to get involved as volunteers. Donna Jeanpierre, Manager of Volunteer Services, TBRHSC, explains that having the students as volunteers would go a long way in helping TBRHSC reach their goal of creating a thriving and inclusive environment that is representative of the community’s population. “We recognize that Aboriginal youth have a lot to offer, and as an organization we are eager to tap into them as a resource,” she says. “In addition to helping students earn their mandatory volunteer hours, we can also provide a lot of valuable career experiences for them, making this a mutually beneficial program for everyone involved.”

To learn more about how you can get involved as a TBRHSC volunteer or to find out more about the ACE program, visit www.tbh.net or contact Volunteer Services at 807-684-6267.