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Format: 04/16/2014
Format: 04/16/2014

News

Connellsville Daily Courier: Connellsville Area students get overview of heart surgery

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

By Mark Hofmann

Daily Courier

Students from Connellsville Area Senior High School visited Allegheny General Hospital last week, receiving an opportunity that few high school students have had.

Students in Justin Guess' Impact Program experienced the opportunity to watch an open-heart surgery.

The West Penn Allegheny Health System started a program more than a year ago in which students can go into an observation room while surgery is being performed.

The program is under the direction of the hospital's Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery chairman, Dr. George J. Magovern Jr.

"We had this room for many years but didn't have a program for students," said Pat Wolf, program coordinator for the hospital.

Students from various schools visit the hospital three times a week September through June. More than 700 students from six counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia have participated in the program to date.

This year, Wolf said 75 schools are scheduled to visit the hospital.

"This is an unbelievable opportunity for these kids," Wolf said.

Students view the entire open heart procedure, which includes removing a vein from the patient's leg, opening the chest cavity, watching the beating heart slow down as it's stopped during a point in the procedure and the actual transplant.

Connellsville sent 14 students to watch the five-hour surgery.

Guess chose the students, which consisted of sophomores, juniors and seniors, based on who was interested in a career in medicine.

"If you're interested in a medical career, you got to see how it's done," said Guess, who found out about the program after reading about it in an online article.

CAHS senior Kelly Barko is interested in pursuing a career in health physics.

To read more, visit the Daily Courier web site

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