Monday, March 04, 2019
by Libby Coleman • email@example.com
BJC | BJC Hospice palliative care specialist Peggy Lewis has always found her career as a nurse extremely rewarding — so much so that she hoped her twin daughters, Katie and Christie, would also choose health care careers.
To provide a little encouragement, she enrolled them in Adventures in HealthCare Camp when they were young teens. Sponsored by BJC School Outreach and Youth Development, the camp provides career exploration for seventh- and eighth-grade children of BJC employees.
The two participated in Adventures in HealthCare Camp in 2006 and served as junior volunteers for the next few years. Their mom’s strategy apparently worked.
“That was the beginning of the twins becoming nurses,” Lewis says. “And, today, they love their careers.”
Lewis began her nursing career in 1986, working on the burn unit at the former Barnes Hospital. In 1997, she joined BJC Hospice, where she worked as a staff nurse and then a patient care supervisor. Over the years, she worked in other nursing roles, before ultimately finding her way to her current position.
Katie and Christie both started working at BJH in 2016 — Katie on unit 7900 oncology and Christie on 14400-14500 general medicine.
Christie remains working on 14400-14500, where she works days and says she loves the people she works with, as well as her patients. “I enjoy getting to know the patients and forming lasting relationships with them,” she says. “And I love the flexibility of my schedule.”
Katie recently transferred to a position outside of BJC, where she works days in an outpatient eye center. Lewis’ son, Rick, attended Adventures in HealthCare Camp, but he ultimately chose a career working outside of health care, like his dad.
Another camper comes of age
This year, however, there’s another Lewis youngster looking forward to BJC’s Adventures in HealthCare Camp.
Lewis and her husband, Ken, had always wanted a fourth child, so more than a decade ago, they looked into adopting a child from Guatemala to complete their family. Their daughter Maria joined the Lewis family in January 2008. Now age 12 and a student at Parkway Southwest Middle School, Maria is excited for her chance to participate in Adventures in HealthCare Camp.
“Maria has heard so many great stories about Adventures in HealthCare Camp, since all of her siblings attended,” Lewis says. “She looks forward to attending this year in July.”
And although Maria doesn’t yet know what she wants to be when she grows up, Lewis says there’s always a chance that Maria will continue the family tradition. “I would love to have Maria join the three of us — and her grandmother — in the nursing profession,”
More about Adventures in HealthCare Camp
Adventures in HealthCare Camp will be offered July 15-19 this year. Participants will explore adventures in occupations such as nursing, radiology, pharmacy, respiratory care and health information technology. In addition, BJC School Outreach and Youth Development health educators will present various health topics, empowering youth to make healthy decisions related to tobacco, alcohol, nutrition and the importance of physical activity.
How to register for camp
Each camp site has limited openings. Applications include a completed registration form, recommendation letter from the student’s school, a short essay and $40 fee, all due by April 1. The $40 fee includes lunch and other activities for the week.
The application for the camp can be found on the BJC School Outreach and Youth Development website, www.bjcschooloutreach.org.
For more information, call the BJC School Program Line, 314-286-0460.
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