The Health Informatics and Information Management (HIIM) Program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center partnered with Girls Inc. of Memphis this summer to teach information technology skills to teenage girls.
The girls, ages 13 to 14 years old, are part of the Eureka! program, a five-year STEM program at Girl’s Inc. Eureka! is a year-round program with an intensive summer session that exposes girls to careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Rebecca Reynolds, EdD, professor and chair of HIIM at UTHSC, said the partnership with UTHSC also aimed to introduce them to career options in the growing field of health informatics and information management, as well as in other health care fields.
Charisse Madlock-Brown, assistant professor of HIIM, worked with the girls during June, helping them learn the basics of website design. The girls selected teams, and each team designed a website.
On the last day of the program, they toured the campus and gave presentations on their designs. The girls also met with successful women on campus to learn about various careers in health care. These included Cassandra Holder-Ballard, RDH, associate professor in the Department of Dental Hygiene; Keisha Brooks, MS, CT (ASCP), assistant professor of cytotechnology; and Anne Zachry, PhD, OTR/L, assistant professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy.
“I think for the girls, it definitely opened them up to more options with their careers,” said Tim Green, Jr., director of the Eureka! program and the STEM coordinator for Girls Inc. of Memphis.
“I think with the new connection with UT Health Science Center, we’re getting to the root of what we’re teaching the girls — it’s all about STEM,” Green said. “If we have a partner like UTHSC and the girls actually see women doing those jobs, it makes it something achievable for them.”