September 24, 2023

St. Philip’s College

St. Philip’s College


WHAT: The first high schoolers to learn about heart care diagnosis at St. Philip’s College’s new state-of-the-art Invasive Cardiovascular Technology education suite are part of an annual education program to reward high school students who are making the connections between college and healthcare industry futures, thanks to the college’s 70-year-old health science program and the lead Level I trauma center for all of South Texas. Diving into the free CAMP 98.6 medical professional development experience with first dibs are a combined 13 Harlandale and Judson high school students. Led by college faculty member Ben Ochoa (program director and assistant professor of invasive cardiovascular technology), the bevy of hands-on learning in the shiny and new lab begins with a visit themed Cardiovascular Technology—We Keep the Rhythm Going. The students will learn about the profession using such visually-appealing digital medical imaging methods as ultrasounds to diagnose heart conditions, vascular problems, or ailments that involve the heart’s arteries, valves or blood vessels—and some of the profession’s lifesaving techniques as well. While the students are helping San Antonio’s best free high-tech, high-speed hands-on summer health camp bar none go way techier and far speedier, the event is also a heartwarming way to convey how serious professional education for the future of cardio diagnosis in San Antonio is being enhanced by one college in a city becoming increasingly relied upon as a premiere healthcare destination.

The CAMP 98.6 program runs June 10-14 and begins June 10-11 in the Center for Health Professions building at St. Philip’s College at 1801 Martin Luther King Drive. The camp concludes June 12-14 off-campus at such University Health System sites as the AirLife helipad, which supports one of the nation’s premiere emergency medical services air medical programs. During the first two days of CAMP 98.6 at St. Philip’s College, Judson and Harlandale students will learn the fundamentals of trauma, patient care, and various healthcare careers. At St. Philip’s College, students rotate through all clinical areas which a trauma patient would go through such as surgical technology, radiography, laboratory and study in the Dr. Frank Bryant, Jr., Patient Simulation Center and Nursing Laboratories, which is a college medical simulation facility. Study at the college grooms the CAMP 98.6 students to work with a professional trauma and AirLife team at University Hospital in a drill simulating a head trauma injury patient arriving at an AirLife helipad. The students move the patient sequentially through such hospital facilities as an emergency room with nursing, radiography, respiratory care, surgery, and rehabilitation services personnel at University Hospital.

The hospital also employs and trains St. Philip’s College students and alumni, so it’s inevitable the high school students will see current and future hospital employees on the campus and at the hospital. Organizers are hoping that many of the CAMP 98.6 students from Judson and Harlandale High Schools may make the connections between something inspiring like the college-hospital experience and their futures in the healthcare industry—during the camp. If they do, it would certainly warm their hearts.

A similar program at Northern Virginia Community College inspired a former chairperson of the St. Philip’s College Allied Health Department to replicate this learning experience for 10 Harlandale High School students in 2008, and then to expand the program to 20 students when the college’s $49 million Center for Health Professions was opened in 2009. When the second and third CAMP 98.6 events were held in 2009 and 2010, they were held for two weeks at the center for 10 students from Harlandale High School and 10 students from McCollum High School. CAMP 98.6 alumni experiences have ranged from learning with the college’s Respiratory Therapy program that is rated Exemplary by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and since 2011, taking classes at the then-new helipad at the hospital. For several seasons, other alumni have included Fox Tech High School students. With the help of Denise Aguilar, R. T. (ARRT), a then-first-year radiology/health science instructor at Judson Independent School District and a 2010 alumna of the radiology program at St. Philip’s College, Judson made its CAMP 98.6 debut in 2018. Returning for 2019, Aguilar is also available to interview. For nearly all alumni, extensive training on the campus traditionally culminated with study in the Dr. Frank Bryant, Jr., Patient Simulation Center and Nursing Laboratories, which is a premiere college medical simulation facility. The new generation of Harlandale High School seniors in the 2019 version of CAMP 98.6 will work in facilities upgraded since the Harlandale class of 2008 attended the original camp.

Here’s a look at the full schedule of free professional development activities the students will be privy to during CAMP 98.6 at St. Philip’s College in 2019. All are available for coverage with the recommended agenda for coverage on top and the full agenda beneath. Please note that the surgical technology activity at 10:15 a.m. is visually perfect for press that cannot make the 9:30 a.m. cardio opportunity:

WHEN: June 10 | 9 a.m.

9–9:30 a.m. | Welcome and introductions from Raquel Farias, Healthcare Sciences and Early Childhood Department Chair, Jessica Cooper, Dean for Academic Success, Health Sciences, and Loretta La Point, Program Development Manager, University Health System | Room 120 on the First Floor of the SPC Center for Health Professions building | 1801 Martin Luther King Drive (building marked as “8.3” on the interactive map)
9:30–10:15 a.m. | Hands on activity themed “Cardiovascular Technology—We Keep the Rhythm Going” | Judson and Harlandale High School students and Ben Ochoa, Program Director and Assistant Professor of Invasive Cardiovascular Technology available to interview | Room 118H on the First Floor of the SPC Center for Health Professions building | 1801 Martin Luther King Drive (building marked as “8.3” on the interactive map)

Day 1: June 10
9–9:30 a.m. | Welcome and Introductions | St. Philip’s College (Health and Bioscience Chairs-Raquel Farias, Thermajean Jones, and Dr. Rhonda Webb) | University Health System (Loretta La Point, Program Development Manager)
9:30–10:15 a.m. | Cardiovascular Technology—We Keep the Rhythm Going | Ben Ochoa, Program Director, Assistant Professor Invasive Cardiovascular Technology, SPC
10:15–11:30 a.m. | Laparoscopic Simulation and Stapling | Maria Hilda Arenas, CST/CSFA, Interim-Program Director, Surgical Technology, SPC
11:30–12:30 p.m. | Lunch
12:30–1:15 p.m. | Underage Drinking and Drug Use | Betsy Jones | San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Awareness
1:15–2 p.m. | Teen Pregnancy | Dr. Solomon Nfor, SPC Natural Sciences Department Faculty Member
2–2:45 p.m. | How to Prepare for a Career in Healthcare | Dianna Garza, SPC Vocational Nursing Program Faculty Member
2:45–3 p.m. | Wrap-up

Day 2: June 11
9–9:45 a.m. | Sonography: It’s more than just a picture | Dr. Yvette Senovsky, Director and Instructor, SPC Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program
9:45–10:30 a.m. | Substance Abuse and HIV Connection | Thermajean Jones, Chairperson, SPC Health Sciences and Histology Department
10:30–11:45 a.m. | Healthy Lifestyles for Teens and Healthcare Professionals | C. J. Arnoni, Alamo College District Wellness Committee Lead
11:45 a.m.–12:30 p.m. | Lunch
12:30–1:15 p.m. | Respiratory Care Technology: Airway management, artificial airways, and intubation | Christa Mitchell, SPC Assistant Professor of Respiratory Care Technology
1:15–2 p.m. | Radiology- RAD to the Bone | William Keller, MS, R.T.(R)(N)(ARRT), SPC Assistant Professor of Radiography Technology
2–2:45 p.m. | Vison Care Technology- More than meets the eye | Dr. Syed Parvez (Pak) M.C.P.S.(Pak) C.O.T. O.S.C., SPC Vision Care Technology Program Director | Sonia Gentry, Clinical Coordinator, SPC Vision Care Technology Program
2:45–3 p.m. | Wrap-up

VISUALS: High school students in a lab environment. Cameras can be escorted to cover heart diagnosis, operating room, vision care, radiography and therapy suites in use during the camp to convey the depth, wonder and fun of the CAMP 98.6 experience.

About St. Philip’s College: Founded in 1898, St. Philip’s College is a multi-campus member of the nation’s first community college system to earn the Baldrige National Quality Award (2018), and Saint Artemisia Bowden led the nondenominational public college for 52 years (1902–1954). Today, St. Philip’s College is both a Historically Black Colleges and Universities member institution and a Hispanic Serving Institution with global business units, serving a semester enrollment of about 13,000 credit students. Find SPC online at

Source and photo courtesy of St. Philip’s College

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