YOUNGSTOWN — An expansion of Choffin Career and Technical Center was celebrated during a ribbon cutting for the new YOUMed Academy.
Center Director Mike Saville shared his vision Tuesday to provide in-demand rigorous and accessible medical programming to Youngstown students.
The 25,600-square-foot YOUMed Academy, located on the fourth floor, started renovations in January. The project was funded by $350,000 in grants.
The event brought out Youngstown Board of Education and Youngstown City Council members. Mike Kahoe, the liaison to Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, presented a proclamation to Choffin from Gov. Mike DeWine’s office.
Saville said the new facility offers five programs: medical and allied health; fitness training health and wellness; physical therapy and athletic training; patient care dental technology and radiography; and training for positions in health care administrations, medical office and business management.
“We looked at every niche area that’s in demand in our region in Youngstown, in the state, and we came up with these five programs that meet that need,” Saville said.
First-year instructor Robyn Markovitch teaches dental assisting. Her students are trained throughout the school year according to industry standards, developing their skills in areas such as infection prevention, radiographic imaging and other disciplines.
“Students are going to have all the hands-on learning experience they need to go out into the working field. We have doctors on staff that will train them … We work with treatment procedures, so they will know all the procedures of how to pass instruments, take X-rays and everything upon graduation,” Markovitch said.
The academy is a two-year program.
Potential places of employment can be dental offices, community centers and clinics, hospitals, schools, therapeutic rehabs and several other health care-related facilities.
This year will mark the first year of the new space, which attracted 68 juniors comprised of students from schools across Youngstown, including Youngstown City Schools, Ursuline High School, Summit Academy and Valley Christian, officials said.
A senior studying medical and allied health, Guadalupe Rivera, 18, said she came to Choffin to get a head start in furthering her career in nursing. She attends a class taught by Karen Perry, where Rivera said she develops real-time health care skills using a simulation mannequin used for tasks such as taking EKGs, checking vitals and various health needs.
“I’ve always had my mind set on nursing and helping others. From here, I plan on going into surgical tech and continuing as an RN,” Rivera said.