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Arlington School District partners with Skagit Regional Health to bring careers in healthcare to the minds of students

Orthopedic Surgeon Ryan Vellinga, MD visits local school

Skagit Regional Health strives to provide compassionate care to all of the communities we serve, and for the past several years, this has meant more than just what our patients experience in a clinic or hospital. Now, some SRH providers are making a difference in the lives of local students – at their school. Several providers from the Orthopedics and Sports Medicine clinic in Smokey Point have been volunteering their time providing sideline medical support during Arlington School District athletic events. In addition, the school district has partnered with SRH providers as part of their Career and Technical Education Advisory Board.

“Career and Technical Education Advisory Board Members serve as content experts to help direct our programs in a manner that aligns them with industry standards and practices,” said Brian Long, College and Career Readiness Director for ASD.

Orthopedic Surgeon Ryan Vellinga, MD visits local school

The goals of this partnership are to facilitate the program renewal process by carrying out the following tasks using expertise:

  • Strengthen the relationship between business, industry, the community and education.
  • Monitor current and predicted occupational trends and identify curriculum implications.
  • Identify community resources that may be used to enrich CTE programs.
Orthopedic Surgeon Ryan Vellinga, MD visits local school

Orthopedic Surgeon Ryan Vellinga, MD is one SRH provider who has played a prominent role in this partnership for the district’s Health Science curriculum by providing educational support for Health Science teachers. He offers up-to-date information to help guide lessons and planning, as well as resources, tools and suggestions to aid their teaching and help enhance the overall student learning experience – all with the goal of enabling students with interest in a career in healthcare

“If (students) in high school get a chance to be around something in medicine and see something cool and surprising, that could alter their career path,” said Dr. Vellinga. “There is a whole host of kids who may also be great physicians but never had inspiring exposure to it – so providing the opportunity to explore their interest could help some pursue something they’d really like to do for their own career.”

Orthopedic Surgeon Ryan Vellinga, MD visits local school

The teachers see tremendous benefit, largely in what the students have access to as they learn and explore what their career path might look like, but also for themselves as they work to inspire and engage students in studying Health Science.

Dr. Vellinga has shared things that helped him in school and medical school and that has helped me as a teacher to change or add things to my lessons to help the kids,” said Nicole Roskelley, Arlington High School  Health Science instructor. “It is so appreciated and we love having them as part of our group and an active part of our community/board.”

The school district sees this benefit and plans to keep it going – for several career fields.

Orthopedic Surgeon Ryan Vellinga, MD visits local school

“This is an example of the kind of partnership we seek in all our Career and Technical Education programs,” said Long. “We have extensive programs best supported by a vast array of careers and people. Our goal is to align our courses with industry standards so that our classrooms look less like classrooms and more like worksites. We cannot do this without the input of industry content experts like Dr. Vellinga.”

Photo captions:

  1. First photo: Ryan Vellinga, MD speaks to AHS class about a career in orthopedic medicine.
  2. Second photo: Dr. Vellinga and Nicole Roskelley collaborate on lesson ideas for upcoming classes.
  3. Third photo: Dr. Vellinga poses with Anatomage Table - a 3D anatomy visualization and virtual dissection tool for anatomy and physiology education used for health science classes.
  4. Fourth photo: Dr. Vellinga and students use Anatomage Table during lesson.
  5. Fifth photo: Dr. Vellinga poses with health science students and Anatomage Table