This massive piece of equipment is a Varian Medical System True Beam Linear Accelerator; and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Gadsden/Etowah County was able to kick off its summer Career Launch efforts by seeing it up close and in person. Gadsden Regional Medical Center staff members used this as a great tool to teach several middle school students about image guided radiotherapy. Don Clemons, Radiation Therapist lead the tour and introduced the kids to physicist, Corban Stone, dosimetrist, April Garman and another radiation therapist, Chad Montgomery. Club members, Kerrion Scott, Kesean Williams, Sylvanus Hunt Jr, De’Asia Smith, Jainiya Norris, Miangel Macon, Javion Wilson, Cedric Smith, Kejuan Williams and Laveya Dates got the opportunity to see this amazing piece of equipment, while meeting the many talented men and women that make it all possible. These Litchfield Middle School students were able to take advantage of this exposure to many career possibilities in the science, technology, and health care professions.
The kids were taught the differences between how fast this new system can perform treatment in 3-5 minutes where the old system took around 15 minutes. The new techniques for radiosurgery were explained to the kids. The kids got an understanding of the dosage prescriptions the doctors give to the staff for the patients and how that is administered to the patients. The treatment time was explained as a big issue with patients needing to remain as still as possible for 30-35 treatments sometimes. Brachytherapy was also discussed, where radiation is placed where the treatment is required. The kids got an understanding of how close the staff and the patients get from all of the required treatments for some people and how they all interact whenever social events occur where the patients get together. Josh Hester, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, along with Taylor Powers, Cardiovascular and Cancer Center Service Line Director explained from a business standpoint how Gadsden Regional became one of a small number of hospitals in Alabama able to offer this technology for cancer treatment.
Rodgerick Williams, Gadsden Regional Medical Center and CHS Division Biomedical Services Director, Boys and Girls Club Board member and former “Club Kid” said, “This was a great opportunity for the kids at Gadsden Regional Medical Center. Career exposures like this creates comfort, and we need the kids exposed to as many positive career opportunities as possible.” Williams further explained to the kids that they have the opportunity to be one of these successful people, regardless of what they see or hear in some environments. Williams was also able to explain the link between personal responsibility and the value that needs to be placed in their middle and high school academic efforts. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Gadsden/Etowah County is proud to announce an upcoming partnership with University of Alabama at Birmingham to train health care professionals. Teens will be able to further explore many aspects of the health care profession including salaries and education requirements. This visit to Gadsden Regional has served as a phenomenal launch pad for many of the programs that we will further explore this summer including- Summer Brain Gain, Career Launch, and the newly requested Scrub Club.
For more information about the Boys and Girls Clubs of Gadsden/Etowah County and the many ways that you can support, please contact Quez Williams, Chief Executive Officer at (256) 459-4573 or visit our website at www.bgcgadsden.org.