Mankato SCRUBS Camp
Grade 3-12 Education Grant Recipient: Kim Mueller
Grant Period: 2015-2016
Site: Mankato Area Public Schools
Like the rest of the nation, Minnesota has a shortage of healthcare workers. In 2014, the healthcare industry comprised 14 percent of the state’s employment, and state legislators expect Minnesota’s healthcare sector to grow rapidly over the next few years. More medical professionals are needed to someday care for the state’s aging population.
The Mankato Scrubs Camp educates about 60 students in high school throughout more than 20 school districts. This program allows students to gain exposure and experience in a healthcare field in hopes of inspiring them to pursue a medical career. This camp has a special focus on regenerative medicine, which includes stem cell research and other procedures that replace or regenerate human cells to promote healing and restore function. The grant allows about a third of students to attend through scholarships.
The 2015 summer session included a presentation and discussion with a patient who had received a prosthetic. The students explored the various technologies involved in creating prosthesis, including skin grafting, laboratory work, chemistry, physiology and more.
The Mankato Scrubs Camp is the result of collaboration between HealthForce Minnesota, the Minnesota Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence, Mankato Area Public Schools, Minnesota State University: Mankato, Mayo Clinic Health Systems, Mankato Clinic, Rasmussen College, and South Central College.
This camp is held at Minnesota State University: Mankato but holds tour days at South Central College, Mayo Clinic Health System Hospital, Mankato Clinic, and other facilities, including clinics and nursing homes in Mankato, MN. Holding Scrubs Camps in multiple locations allows a greater number of diverse students to learn about regenerative medicine.
The Mankato Scrubs camp benefits Minnesota by exposing young people to regenerative medicine and hopefully enticing some students into pursuing a job in stem cell research. The camp also presents Minnesota institutions as premier destinations for students who want to enter regenerative medicine, and the program helps create a pipeline of qualified and enthusiastic healthcare professionals.
Kim Mueller is the career and college readiness coordinator for Mankato Area Public Schools. Mueller also serves as Work Based Learning Coordinator, where she oversees internships and youth apprenticeships, and as a health science and family/consumer science teacher.