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News | July 9, 2024

NH Jacksonville revives S2M2 mentoring program

By Julie Lucas

Naval Hospital (NH) Jacksonville staff kicked off the Science, Service, Medicine and Mentoring (S2M2) program Nov. 29 at Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts. The program had been on pause since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Darnell-Cookman is pleased to have the return of the collaboration. “This represents a pathway that a lot of my students didn’t know existed, especially with the military partnership,” said Darnell-Cookman Principal Paul Davis. “Having Naval Hospital Jacksonville as one of our partners allows them to serve in an internship and have a hands-on experience in what they would be asked to do in the future.”

Triad leadership and seven clinicians spoke to the students about their Navy careers and experiences to around 150 students. Speakers included a physician, a physician assistant, a pharmacist, two dentists, two nurses and two hospital corpsmen.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to partner with a local high school that focuses on medical arts, and we can show what military medicine is really like,” said NH Jacksonville Director Capt. Sharon House. “What we are hoping is the students see the similarities in local facilities, but also the uniqueness such as travel and education, or even how to run a hospital. Perhaps we can put a spark in their minds some of the opportunities they may not have thought about before.”

Following the panel discussions, break-out sessions sparked one-on-one conversations between students and staff. Discussions and questions ranged from highly technical medical questions to retirement and other benefits.

The school will select around 12 students for the NH Jacksonville summer internship opportunity. Real-world medical experiences will be showcased along with military training for the participants during a one-week period. Rotations will vary including a bones and joints workshop, simulation laboratory and newborn care.

“What opened my eyes is that there are many opportunities in navy medicine,” said Darnell-Cookman 11th grade student Maggie Gagni. “All you see on the news is about deployments or conflicts. I had no idea that Navy Medicine assisted with that, and this changed my perspective on joining the military and serving in navy medicine.”

S2M2 was originally developed in 2004 by the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and adopted in 2010 by NH Jacksonville. S2M2’s goal is to encourage students’ commitment to science and medicine in a welcoming and intellectually nurturing environment.

Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts is a Blue Ribbon school, providing high performing students with an advanced academic curriculum, including an overview of the professional medical fields. The school equips students for future success in college and graduate school. In 2007, it became the nation’s first 6th – 12th grade college-prep program with a focus on medical arts and sciences. The school has continually made the Washington Post’s list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools.

Naval Hospital Jacksonville and Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Jacksonville deliver health care and readiness. NH Jacksonville and its five branch health clinics serve 175,000 active duty, active duty family members, and retired service members, including 54,000 patients enrolled with a primary care manager. NMRTC Jacksonville and its five units support warfighters' medical readiness to deploy and clinicians' readiness to save lives. To learn more, visit:
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