Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Helping Students Strive for Success

By: STRIVE Program Sponsors and Team

As part of our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Connecticut Children’s launched a new partnership with Bloomfield High School to promote future career opportunities and help students strive for success.

The program, Support and Teamwork Resulting in Valuable Experiences (STRIVE), provided students with an overview of clinical and non-clinical opportunities at Connecticut Children’s to develop interest in pursuing such careers. During the STRIVE program’s inaugural experience on May 6, 2022, six high school students engaged in an interactive professional development experience with volunteers from Connecticut Children’s team. Beyond shadowing a professional, STRIVE participants explored how allied fields cooperate in the treatment and healing of our patients, including social work, nursing, marketing and communications, continual improvement, administrative, and patient access. STRIVE truly seeks to be a full spectrum introduction to Connecticut’s only dedicated children’s health system.

“Brett definitely made this experience something to never forget, and hearing the way he cares for all of his patients and parents, it was something wonderful to see, and know that people still care even after the pandemic.”

– Student Perspective

As healthcare professionals, we can affirm the importance of programs such as STRIVE to provide early exposure for adolescents to fields at Connecticut Children’s. It also exercises our organization’s ability to mentor youth of a range of backgrounds and abilities, ensuring that we pay forward to the next generation of healthcare providers. STRIVE and Connecticut Children’s share a path of growth and development, mentor and mentee alike.

 “I love having students and seeing healthcare through their eyes. It always helps restore my drive when the complexities of healthcare make it difficult to not be cynical.”

– Connecticut Children’s Team Member Perspective

The one day program was deemed a success, and initial feedback has been positive from both students and professionals. Recruitment has already been confirmed for the Spring 2023 cohort. STRIVE’s founder, Garry Lapidus, PA-C, Director of Connecticut Children’s Research Operations and Development Department, is currently talking with an expanded pool of area high schools that share his vision of teaching by doing.

Mr. Lapidus was inspired to launch this program as he reflected on his own successful history as a mentor of up-and-coming professionals, and the leaders who inspired him at the start of his career. 

“I enjoyed learning the way the admitting process in the hospital worked and getting a hands-on experience in the way things operate, seeing how communication on everyone’s part is important in the well-being of each patient.”

– Garry Lapidus, PA-C

Thanks to strong leadership in Connecticut Children’s healthcare and educational institutions, more and more of our rising young people are able to get a glimpse into a bright future. Stay tuned for more updates from STRIVE!

“I love the STRIVE program! It is such a great way to provide Bloomfield students with more career options by showing them the various careers in health care.”

– Luis Rivera, Connecticut Children’s Community Relations Manager

Thank you to the following team members who connected with Bloomfield High School students:

  • Brett Carra
  • Colleen Tripp
  • David Ferrer
  • Deb Pappas
  • Suzanne LaJoy
  • Timothy Clark

The STRIVE collaborative program sponsors and team include:

  • Executive Sponsors: Larry Milan and Paul Dworkin, MD
  • Program Director: Garry Lapidus, PA-C
  • Support Team: Amy Power, Danielle Chenard, Luis Rivera, Rosa Rodrigues and Timothy Clark

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