March 21, 2017 Peter Tonon


Original article by

Story by Stacey Hull of Memorial Health System:

Memorial Health System is a community-based, not-for-profit health care organization in Illinois, dedicated to patient care, education, and research.  In October 2016, Memorial Health System partnered with Southern Illinois School of Medicine to design and implement a new program, offering Healthcare Explorers of Central Illinois. 

Both organizations had previously offered Exploring programs through the Boy Scouts of America’s Abraham Lincoln Council. The two institutions recognized they could offer a more robust curriculum to students by partnering to offer a joint program.  In addition, Memorial and SIU School of Medicine committed to pay each student’s participation fees for the full year of the new program, so that cost would not be a barrier for students who wished to participate.

Healthcare Explorers of Central Illinois began with its First Nighter Event on October 6, 2016, and more than 200 local students and parents attended the session to learn about the program and complete registration. During the course of the evening, those in attendance also heard from SIU School of Medicine Dean and Provost Dr. Jerry Kruse and Ed Curtis, President and CEO of Memorial Health System. Both leaders discussed the importance of the program and how it will impact the future health care workforce.

Currently, there are nearly 150 students enrolled in the program and around 85 students attend each session. Explorers meet monthly to learn about different health care disciplines, such as rehabilitation services, nursing, emergency medical services, perioperative services, and medical research.

The combined program offers students the chance to learn about health care careers, including the collaboration that must take place among caregivers to achieve great patient care. Each post includes hands-on activities to engage the students, and also provides the opportunity to interact with current health care professionals.

Staff members at SIU and Memorial look forward to assisting with the posts and, as a result of this engagement, each post has had an average of 15 volunteers. The future health care workforce is shaped by programs such as this one, and both organizations look forward to continuing to partner together to provide this opportunity for students to experience health care careers in a hands-on environment.

For more information on Healthcare Explorers of Central Illinois, head to their page.

Head to to see how you can get involved in health care Exploring in your area!

Scouting Wire would like to thank Memorial Health System workforce development consultant Stacy Hull for submitting this story.