South Campus Residents Push Health Care Jobs for the Underprivileged at April 11 Career Fair

Two UA College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program – South Campus physicians and Victoria Murrain, DO, assistant dean for graduate medical education at the UA College of Medicine at South Campus, appear in the broadcast of “Morning Blend” on KGUN9 TV channel today, April 6, to tout “A Pathway to Success” — a career fair for high school students at Banner – UMC South to explore jobs in the health professions.

On the set of KGUN9's Morning Blend, from left, Dr. Beatty, program co-host Alex Steiniger, Dr. Swazo and Dr. Murrain.

The segment will air today at:

The career fair—the brainchild of Norm Beatty, MD, and Roberto Swazo, MD, third- and second-year residents in training at Banner – University Medical Center South—targets underprivileged and minority youth on the south and west sides and central Tucson.

It will be held Tuesday, April 11, 5-7 p.m., in the La Galería conference room at the Banner – UMC South hospital, 2800 E. Ajo Way. RSVPs for about 130 students have already been received. Invitations were sent through counselors at the Sunnyside School District, and Cholla, Pueblo and Tucson High Schools. Those interested in attending can email im.residency@bannerhealth.com or call (520) 874-2995.

“This was started by Dr. Beatty and myself to generate more interest and involvement in health care, especially in South Tucson,” said Dr. Swazo, who is originally from Puerto Rico and acknowledges coming from a low socioeconomic background himself.

“The population we serve is pretty underprivileged with fewer resources and we’re trying to make sure that, even if they don’t go on to a university, they can find out what may be involved if they want to get a job here. They can go to a community college or technical school, study for a couple years and still get involved in health care. A lot of kids don’t even know about this.”

Exposing them to the breadth of health care jobs available is the first step, he said. After they get initial training, they can see what opportunities open up and make decisions about additional education later.

In addition to doctors, the flyer with highlights for the career fair mentions medical assistants, physical therapists, pharmacists and pharm techs, radiology technicians, respiratory therapists, nurses, nutritionists, social workers and administrative positions. (Click here [PDF] or on the image at right to view, download, post and share the flyer.)

To make it a richer experience, Dr. Swazo noted, hands-on activities will be available at most of the 10 booths for the career fair. “Each is going to be dedicated to a certain health care field. At the physicians’ booth, they’ll be field intubating a mannequin. The respiratory therapists will have a ventilator machine and masks to show what they do with an asthma attack patient. Nurses have a model of an arm to show how to start an IV on someone. And speech pathologists will have voice simulators.”

Guest speakers include Francisco García, MD, MPH (right), director and chief medical officer, Pima County Health Department, and Norma Mercado, RN, an emergency room nurse at Banner – UMC South. Both, Dr. Swazo added, were born and raised in Tucson and chose to stay, something he felt the kids would better identify with as local mentors. Dr. Garcia is also a UA College of Medicine - Tucson alumni.

Present as well will be Dr. Murrain, who is a descendant of West Indian immigrants who moved to Panama to build the Panama Canal. She was born in the town of Paraíso in the Panama Canal Zone and came to the United States at age 10. For him and Dr. Beatty, Dr. Swazo said, she, Banner - UMC South CMO David Sheinbein, MD, and so many others who’ve supported them in this effort, have been great at offering advice on who to speak with and how to make the career fair happen.

Banner Health leaders and staff, as well as high school guidance counselors, will be attending also to help answer any of the students’ questions.

Release Date: 
04/06/2017 - 10:00am