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Creating a ‘pipeline’ of future healthcare professionals

Stryker is proud to be a funder of the Pipeline Program managed by the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker School of Medicine. The pipeline programs at WMed are designed to champion the biomedical science and healthcare career aspirations of underrepresented youth.

In June, the Early Introduction to Health (EIH) careers summer camp welcomed 25 Kalamazoo Public School tenth grade students for a two-week program. A cross-divisional team from Stryker’s Corporate, Instruments and Medical divisions contributed to the curriculum and spent time with the students doing hands-on activities and teaching. The students participated in presentations, tours and an opportunity to try their hand developing assistive device replicas.


The students spent their final day of the summer camp learning about the career trajectory of three Stryker engineers who visited the W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus. Additionally, Nancy Stefanick, Stryker’s director of Learning and Development Delivery, gave a presentation to the students about how to best utilize their strengths to fuel their passion and drive them to success in both school and their future career. The students then had the opportunity to use creative thinking, problem solving and fundamental engineering principles to develop assistive devices using basic school supplies.


“Even if they don’t end up pursuing an engineering path, the collaboration between engineers and medical professionals is so important to what we do and what they do,” said Kaitlin Konopacz, a mechanical design engineer in New Product Development for Stryker.


“That partnership that we have with our customers, with EMTS, with surgeons, with nurses, is something they’re going to get to interface with if they do go into the medical professions, as well. So getting exposure early to people working in the medical technology field is what I hope they get from it.“

Benny VanDyken, a mechanical engineer at Stryker said he appreciated the opportunity to meet with the students “and hopefully make a positive impact and help them learn a little bit from my experience.”

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View the original article: Kalamazoo High School Students Gain Valuable Experience During Summer Pipeline Program at WMed and Kalamazoo College

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