Eskenazi Health: Nourishing an appetite for life-long learning

Learning may begin in the classroom, but for the Purdue Polytechnic High School students who tour The Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital, it extends to the halls and rooftop of the Marion County hospital. 

The hospital hosts tours to give students a glimpse into healthcare careers and the daily operations of a hospital. As an added bonus, PPHS students tour Eskenazi’s rooftop Sky Farm, a nationally recognized urban garden that produces fresh produce to feed patients, visitors and employees. 

“The students really connect the dots when they get to tour our facility,” said Ryan J. Bojrad, clinical administrator for Eskenazi Health. “While we discuss with them what we do and how we improve the lives of those in the community, the tours give us the opportunity to connect them to the ‘why.’” 

The tours also help students discover the many career opportunities in healthcare, Ryan said. “Most people think immediately of doctors and nurses when you mention healthcare careers.,” Ryan said. “We like to show students all the opportunities available in healthcare, including finance, marketing, data analytics, nutrition, health coaches, and more.” 

In addition to tours, Eskenazi Health and Ryan have helped Purdue Polytechnic High School weave lessons of wellness into the school’s curriculum and incorporate wellness into the Purdue Polytechnic High School culture to stimulate a healthy learning environment.

Ryan also enjoys mentoring students as they tackle their Eskenazi project challenge: How might we create or enhance products or services to help community members lead healthier lives?

When the students pitched their final projects to Eskenazi staff, he said, “it was just like Shark Tank. I was blown away by the students and the ideas they designed – from a “doctor-on-demand” program to community gardens and healthy school lunch menus. The students even researched how to monetize their solutions.” 

Purdue Polytechnic High School is a revolutionary model, Ryan said, and teaches students how to learn. “You never stop learning,” he said. “Education continues on and evolves,” throughout a lifetime.