Learn­ing and Teach­ing Across Gen­er­a­tions at North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Spe­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion, Nancy Goss, New­port, VT

Many of the stu­dents who took part in a Mi­crosoft Of­fice train­ing at North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal in New­port in re­cent weeks have ad­vanced de­grees, and are sea­soned mem­bers of the health­care world. On the other hand, the men­tors of the course were stu­dents from Lake Re­gion Union High School, many of them mem­bers of Fu­ture Busi­ness Lead­ers of Amer­ica (FBLA).

The high school stu­dents used their tech­no­log­i­cal savvy to help teach health­care pro­fes­sion­als in Mi­crosoft Of­fice 2010, the lat­est ver­sion of the pro­gram.

“They were ex­cel­lent stu­dents,” Brit­tany Downs said. “They weren’t afraid to ask ques­tions.” She and the other high school stu­dents in­volved also spoke about what they learned in help­ing their adult stu­dents learn valu­able new skills.

Brit­tany, who served as the Data Base Ad­min­is­tra­tor for the course, said the col­lab­o­ra­tion helped her build con­fi­dence to uti­lize the skills she has learned in class to ed­u­cate oth­ers.

The col­lab­o­ra­tive re­la­tion­ship came out of a need for the high school stu­dents to raise money to at­tend the Fu­ture Busi­ness Lead­ers of Amer­ica 2013 National Lead­er­ship Con­fer­ence in Ana­heim, Cal­i­for­nia, June 22-July 1. Sierra Cortez, a mem­ber of FBLA whose mother works at the hos­pi­tal, and Betsy Cal­houn, the high school’s Busi­ness Depart­ment Chair­per­son, and FBLA Ad­vi­sor, along with FBLA mem­ber, Syd­ney Whip­ple, met with Clau­dio Fort, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the hos­pi­tal. In­stead of the NCH sim­ply giv­ing the group a do­na­tion, the four of them hatched a plan to form a col­lab­o­ra­tive work­ing re­la­tion­ship in which ev­ery­body won.

The high school stu­dents in­volved were Sierra Cortez, Brit­tany Downs, Gabrielle Granai, Brit­tany Menken, Keisha Pad­dle­ford, Chelsea Row­ell, and Syd­ney Whip­ple.

The ex­tremely chal­leng­ing course lasted eight weeks. Par­tic­i­pants worked at their own pace from a book, and with hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence. The young men­tors reg­u­larly trav­eled from the high school to the hos­pi­tal to work with their stu­dents and an­swer any ques­tions which had arisen since they’d last met.

“The op­por­tu­nity to col­lab­o­rate with the Lake Re­gion FBLA group on this train­ing was ex­tremely timely,” Kate Pierce, Di­rec­tor of Clin­i­cal In­for­mat­ics for North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal, said. “The hos­pi­tal had just up­graded our Mi­crosoft Of­fice Suite from 2003 to 2010, which was a sig­nif­i­cant change for our staff. The FBLA group ap­proached the hos­pi­tal with a pro­posal to help some of our staff re­ceive Mi­crosoft Of­fice train­ing, and even be­come Mi­crosoft cer­ti­fied ex­perts. We iden­ti­fied staff in key ar­eas that were ei­ther heavy users of the MS Of­fice tools or were in a po­si­tion to pro­vide train­ing and sup­port through­out the fa­cil­ity.

Over­all, this was a win-win for ev­ery­one in­volved. The stu­dents were able to raise funds for their up­com­ing FBLA trip, the hos­pi­tal is now equipped with staff mem­bers trained and cer­ti­fied in the var­i­ous Mi­crosoft Of­fice tools, and are able to as­sist oth­ers through­out the fa­cil­ity with ques­tions and pro­vide train­ing, as needed,” con­cluded Kate, who worked with Betsy to de­velop and man­age the pro­ject.

“This au­then­tic Mi­crosoft Of­fice 2010 train­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion helped my stu­dents to rec­og­nize the very real con­nec­tions be­tween high school op­por­tu­ni­ties and be­com­ing col­lege & ca­reer ready,” Betsy said. “Be­ing able to suc­cess­fully pro­vide a sup­port­ive per­sonal learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment for the pro­fes­sional staff mem­bers who par­tic­i­pated has greatly in­creased their own con­fi­dence and mo­ti­va­tion to learn. We plan to seek out ad­di­tional busi­ness part­ners who are in­ter­ested in

Sierra Cortez, Betsy Cal­houn, Deb­bie Gring, Penny Wheeler, Keisha Pad­dle­ford, Brit­tany Downs, and Syd­ney Whip­ple par­tic­i­pated in an un­usual Mi­crosoft Of­fice train­ing pro­ject at the hos­pi­tal. This time the stu­dents were the teach­ers.

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