Developing the next generation of healthcare providers


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA)– Monday was the first day back in class for students in Springfield.

One school district has a new program dedicated to building up a career path in our state that is in need of more people.

Springfield Public Schools is hoping a program that helps high schoolers prepare to be doctors will have the same success with students looking to start a career in nursing.

Ten years ago, Matthew Mannion of Springfield began the Physician Pipeline Preparatory Program or P4 as a student at Sacred Heart Griffin High School.

“I think any field, particularly in like health care, whether it’s P.A., nurse practitioner, doctor, R.N., I think any of those fields, I think it is really powerful to have experiences at a younger age. To know A: do I want to do this? And B:what does it look like to do this?” said Mannion.

“I think the biggest factor for me was that I loved science in high school and I liked helping people, because my mom is a social worker so I think it was a really good early way to solidify that I liked medicine and medicine represents helping people and science. It’s a nice marriage between the two.”

Mannion is now pursuing a career in medicine at SIU School of Medicine. A similar program designed for high schoolers interested in nursing is open for students in District 186. Deans as St. John’s School of Nursing are excited to see what the program does for their field.

“The program looks to expose them to nursing, tying stem courses (their science, technology and math courses) and to give students an opportunity explore nursing and how they connect and use those courses within nursing and hopefully down the road create an interest in nursing as well,” said Dean of Academics Dr. Judy Shackelford.

30 students from six area high schools will be able to take part in the program this year. They have until September 23rd to apply.

Students need at least a 2.5 grade point average to be apart of the program. You do not need to be an honors student to apply but you will need three recommendations and a personal essay in order to be considered. The first module of study begins November 4th. You can find more information about the P3 nursing program here and the P4 physician pipeline program here.

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