Department Participates in Michigan Medicine Youth Summit

By Camren Clouthier | May 27 2022

On Saturday, May 21, 2022, Michigan Medicine hosted its first-ever Youth Summit at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. The event, which included local middle schools from Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and surrounding communities, invited young students out to the Big House in order to come and experience a day in medicine. The Department of Pathology had a station set up on the concourse, where these students could come try out microscopy, learn about urinalysis and practice phlebotomy on a fake arm. Volunteers from the Department included Drs. Riccardo Valdez, Sean Li, and Julianne Szczepanski, as well as Christine Rigney, Jenna Koelsch, Karen Barron and Alexis Snyder.

"The Youth Summit 2022 was all we had hoped for," remarked Karen Barron. "The kids were adorable and attentive, and I could tell that they were awed and empowered by getting to use real lab equipment. I’m grateful for the solid support from Pathology volunteers the day of and those who helped in the preparation."

Szczepanski also commented on the event. "It was inspiring to see so many kids excited about science and intrigued with looking into a microscope for the first time," she explained. "I am hopeful that our Department can continue to participate in this event because I would definitely volunteer again!"

Despite a little bit of rain, the event was a huge success and great fun was had by all. "The Youth Summit really exemplifies the need to incorporate long-term goals and sustainable measures to recruit a more diverse workforce," says Medical Technologist Jenna Koelsch. Going forward, Michigan Medicine hopes to make the event an annual occurance, allowing for increased departmental participation in the future. Be sure to check out the recap video created to capture the spirit of the event!