Compiled By Milwaukee Courier Staff
For the second year in a row, Employ Milwaukee has partnered with the Clinical & Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin (CTSI) at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) to give young people who participate in Mayor Barrett’s Earn & Learn Summer Youth Employment Program an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of careers in the medical field at one of the most prestigious medical research institutions in the country.
On Friday, August 3, 2018, President and CEO of Employ Milwaukee Willie Wade was the keynote speaker at the CTSI 500 Stars Program closing ceremony at the Medical College, where he congratulated the young people. In his remarks, Wade discussed the importance of innovative partnerships to prepare our future workforce and emphasized the extraordinary opportunity these young people are being given to be able to do a summer internship at MCW/CTSI, and get an early introduction to careers in the medical field. He also thanked the MCW for the great partnership with the Mayor’s Earn & Learn Program and Employ Milwaukee.
“I’m excited about our new and growing partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin. This partnership allows young people who apply to Mayor Barrett’s Earn & Learn Summer Youth Employment Program, with an interest in the medical field, to get an up-close look at numerous careers,” said Willie Wade, President and CEO, Employ Milwaukee. “We are preparing the workforce of tomorrow by providing one-of-a-kind opportunities to obtain real life work experience. By supporting our young people, we are ensuring a successful future for our community.”
MCW is the lead member of the CTSI, a consortium of eight Wisconsin institutions committed to translating biomedical research discoveries into practical patient care and increasing diversity within the clinical and translational science workforce. The CTSI 500 Stars Program introduces young people to careers in clinical and translational science settings through internship opportunities.
“Our goal is to enroll a minimum of 50 under-represented minority students in this Program per year…there is a summer component and an academic year component to 500 Stars; each component has a student-centered activity and a family-centered activity. The summer offers internships and externships at our partner organizations. In the academic year, students enroll in SMART (Students Modeling a Research Topic) teams, and the following summer they come back for internships,” said Dr. Reza Shaker, Director of the CTSI and Sr. Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Science at MCW. According to Dr. Shaker, community involvement in the 500 Stars Program is critical and reflects the team science model of the CTSI. Dr. Doriel Ward, Executive Director of CTSI Administration and Director of the 500 Stars Program concurs and adds, “Our aim for the CTSI 500 Stars Initiative is to provide real-life, practical experiences, in translational science settings as a part of our efforts to train and cultivate the translational science workforce, while also engaging patients, families and community members in every phase of the translational process.”
Over the past two summers, 47 Earn & Learn students have participated in the CTSI 500 Stars Summer Internship Program, working in various departments at CTSI partner organizations (including MCW), representing research laboratories, clinical and translational research settings, research administration and support settings, and many more. Moreover, some students took part in the MCW’s Apprenticeship in Medicine program for high school students from historically underrepresented backgrounds interested in medical careers. All students received hands-on experience in live settings, participated in enrichment and mentoring activities, weekly translational science lecture series and much more.
Students also had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, IL. In the two years of the partnership, the number of Earn & Learn young people has nearly doubled from 17 Earn & Learn participants in 2017 to 30 in 2018.
“We are very pleased with our partnership with Employ Milwaukee,” said Joseph E. Kerschner, MD, Dean, MCW School of Medicine; Provost and Executive Vice President. “We are eager to help these young prospective scientists cultivate their passions in multiple medical and clinical fields and look forward to working with Employ Milwaukee to develop the talent of our future workforce.”