Oakland, Calif. — August 7, 2023 — Oakland high schoolers are encouraged to apply for Alameda Health System’s (AHS) HealthPATH program, a workforce development initiative that prepares youth for health care careers. Applications for the Health Excellence & Academic Leadership (HEAL) internship, a HealthPATH program for high school students, will be accepted from Monday, Aug. 7 through Aug. 31, 2023.

Applicants must be Oakland residents or attend an Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) public or charter school. The internship will run from Sept. 18, 2023, to Jan. 24, 2024.

“Alameda Health System does more than provide medical care to our community, we also invest in our community and teach the next generation of health care professionals,” said James Jackson, CEO of Alameda Health System. “HealthPATH provides a pathway to a career in health care for young people from the Alameda County communities that are most impacted by health inequities. It also helps us nurture a diverse workforce pipeline directly from the community we serve.”

Members of AHS’ most recent HEAL cohort graduated in July after a full summer of rotations through clinical departments at the Wilma Chan Highland Hospital Campus. Many of them said the experience changed how they see their futures.

Rudsdale High School graduate Javier Velasquez Lopez said the internship changed his perspective on his life and made him grateful for his health.

“I was able to act as a translator for a patient in the intensive care unit (ICU) who had liver failure. At the end of my rotation, she thanked me and cried. It makes me wonder where she is now,” he said.

Rudsdale senior Eleni Reyes said her experience seeing the hospital’s morgue confirmed her interest in becoming a forensic pathologist who investigates causes of death.

“[The morgue] is not like on TV. It’s peaceful,” she said. “If something were to happen to someone in my family, I would want someone to determine how it went down. I see it like, I can help a family get closure. ”

For Oakland Tech graduate Justin Luong, the HEAL internship helped him confirm that he wants to go into pediatrics. He was diagnosed with diabetes when he was a 9th grader. Now, he wants to help people like himself.

“I really love working with kids,” Luong said. “Sometimes they need cheering up and I just want to be there for them.”

About Alameda Health System
Alameda Health System (AHS) is a leading public, integrated health care provider and medical training institution recognized for its world-class patient and family-centered care. AHS provides comprehensive medical treatment, health promotion and disease prevention throughout our integrated network of hospitals, clinics and health services. AHS includes three acute care hospitals, a psychiatric hospital, four ambulatory care wellness centers, five post-acute facilities, and the only adult Level 1 Trauma Center and psychiatric emergency department in Alameda County. AHS is committed to promoting wellness and optimizing the health of the community through the mission of caring, healing, teaching and serving all. For more information, visit AlamedaHealthSystem.org.


Eleanor Ajala