PANORAMA CITY, Calif. — Forty-four students from Van Nuys Middle School graduated from Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center’s 12th annual Hippocrates Circle Program. The program introduces under-represented middle school students to careers in health care.
Students from Van Nuys Middle School began their journey in February and celebrated their accomplishments on June 4, with their parents, physicians, teachers and school and elected officials at a graduation ceremony at Casa Torres Banquet Hall in San Fernando.
At the ceremony, speakers told the students, who will soon graduate from middle school, that they have people who believe in them and that their educational journey is an important achievement for them and their families. Ronald Copeland, MD, senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer for Kaiser Permanente, was the keynote speaker at the graduation.
During his speech, Dr. Copeland spoke about four success factors for students to consider in pursuit of their aspirations: work ethic, self-confidence, passion and resilience. Quoting human rights leader Frederick Douglass, he said to the students, “You may not get everything you work for, but you must work for everything you get.”
“Persist in your efforts, and never give up,” concluded Dr. Copeland.
Hippocrates Circle Physician Champion Maria Castellanos, MD, added, “The Hippocrates Circle Program has opened the door for these students, many of whom may have never considered a career in medicine. But thanks to this program, they have the tools and motivation to pursue their dreams.”
The Hippocrates Circle Program is the first step in a long line of youth workforce development programs that Kaiser Permanente offers, including a Summer Youth Employment Program, Medical Explorers, INROADS internships, and Residency and Fellowship opportunities.
Hippocrates Circle first took root 17 years ago in San Diego, when Kaiser Permanente physician Ricardo Sistos, MD, and his colleagues began mentoring 30 students.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 11.8 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.