Crestwood HS student Allison investigates the anatomy of a cadaver arm with orthopedic resident Dr. Drew Wroblewski
Crestwood HS student Allison investigates the anatomy of a cadaver arm with orthopedic resident Dr. Drew Wroblewski

Hiram – Last week, Hiram College hosted a special health fair, giving participants the opportunity to learn about stress management and healthy eating, practice yoga and martial arts, enjoy a chair massage, play outdoor games like Frisbee or corn hole, and try out oversized games of Connect Four® or Jenga® on the lawn. But this was more than just a day of fun in the sun for Hiram’s students.

According to Sandra Madar, Professor of Biology & Biomedical Humanities, roughly 180 high school students from Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), Crestwood, Garfield, Twinsburg, and Windham visited campus to attend the special health and wellness fair. And that’s in addition to the 1,200 Hiram College students who also participated in the campus-wide event.

The high point of the event, by far, was the state-of-the-art mobile surgical suite that was brought to campus by Hiram alumni and Surgical Training Institute President, Rick Anthony. One of the largest providers of surgical training in the country, Anthony’s mobile units are used around the country by professionals for research and educational purposes on new products and procedures. He brought the 900 square foot facility to Hiram for the day to give prospective medical professionals, “a look at what takes to be a doctor”. Equipped with thousands of orthopedic surgery tools and medical instruments, the mobile unit can accommodate eight to ten stations, and includes refrigeration unit, instrument washers, and x-ray equipment. Crestwood High School student Cydney, under the direction of University Hospitals surgical nurse Alexesace Reese, learned how to suture on a portion of artificial skin at one station.

For this program, two surgical stations included human tissue  — a cadaver arm from a 68-year-old woman who succumbed to lung cancer and a cadaver leg from a 58-year-old female who died of cervical cancer.  At another station, orthopedic resident Dr. Drew Wroblewski demonstrated several procedures on a cadaver arm. At one point, he asked a student volunteer to assist, and Allison, also from Crestwood, jumped at the opportunity. Other stations included an investigation of the heart and lung of a pig. Upon exiting the mobile unit, future pathologist, Amber, beamed, “I like how interactive this is,” while future ER nurse Kaitlyn added, “I thought it would smell, but it didn’t — it was really cool!”

At Hiram’s nursing school, located in the Teachout Price building, visitors to the simulation lab learned to check patients’ vital signs, start IV’s, manage wound care, and handle equipment on a variety of electronic mannequins that allow students to gain hands-on experience prior to working with live patients. Stacia, a junior nursing student, acknowledged that at Hiram, she began her clinical rotation at a hospital during her sophomore year, earlier than most other schools allow. And each new semester brings Hiram’s nursing students to a new clinical rotation at an Akron or Cleveland area healthcare facility, providing a well-rounded experience. “Hiram College is well-known in the medical community,” shared Hiram College Chief of Staff Cristine Boyd. “Our biomedical humanities program is first in the country.”

While on campus, prospective students learned more about Hiram’s academic health programs, including how an undergraduate degree from Hiram may open doors to graduate programs at partner institutions Case Western Reserve University and NEOMED. Students had an opportunity to speak to advisors and find out how their psychology, sociology, or educational studies major could prepare them for a career in the healthcare field. Success stories of recent Hiram graduate were posted throughout the fair’s green space, giving both current and potential students ideas on future career paths.

After a complimentary lunch of burrito bowls, students had the chance to participate in ice block sledding down the hill beside the gymnasium, or to hike along trails at the 545-acre field station. Attendees also had the opportunity to take a sleep quiz and learn why sleep matters as a part of the Huffington Post’s Sleep Revolution. “Overall, this event gives prospective students an in-depth view of healthcare professionals, while celebrating wellness in a fun-filled environment,” Dr. Madar concluded.