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Patriotic Article
Military
By Navy Chief MCS L.A. Shively

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Navy Week Opens Door to Opportunities for Students
(April 23, 2010)

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SAN ANTONIO (NNS) -- Scientists from the Naval Medical Research Unit (NMRUSA) discussed cutting-edge biotechnologies such as cell and organ printing, and opportunities in the Navy, with students at the Northside Health Careers High School (HCHS) as part of San Antonio Navy Week.
Cmdr. Mark Hofmann, left, commanding officer of Navy Operational Support Center, San Antonio, and Yeoman 1st Class Dana Gilbert, read a story to children at Carl Wanke Elementary School during San Antonio Navy Week on April 16, 2010.
Cmdr. Mark Hofmann, left, commanding officer of Navy Operational Support Center, San Antonio, and Yeoman 1st Class Dana Gilbert, read a story to children at Carl Wanke Elementary School during San Antonio Navy Week on April 16, 2010.
Cell and organ printing is computer-aided, jet printer-based, 3D tissue-engineering of living human organs, offering a possible solution to the organ transplantation crisis.

HCHS's curricula focuses primarily on health care. Although a public school, students must apply for admission to a limited number of spots.

The presentations offered students interested in pursuing careers in the health professions a door to opportunities in the Navy.

"My buzz word is options – you always want to have options in life," said Capt. Vincent DeInnocentiis, NMRUSA commanding officer.

"I want to be a cardiologist," said 11th grader Michael Collier, a student in the Diagnostics Services class, adding that he decided on his career in the third grade.

He said listening to Navy scientists discuss their work was intriguing.

"There are more branches to Navy medicine than I thought," said Collier. "I was always interested in the Navy, so now I am seriously considering it."

"It's nice to know there are opportunities out there for us," said Rebecca Moreno, also an 11th-grade student in the Diagnostics Services class.

Moreno said she is interested in pursuing a career in plastic surgery, perhaps in the Navy.

"Whether it's for combat or regular medical purposes," Moreno said, "it can change peoples lives and that's what I want to do."

Navy medical research also helps change lives through partnerships with high-volume trauma centers such as those in Los Angeles County, the University of California, Davis and in Baltimore, Md., where experience with military medicine is used in the civilian world to treat patients injured in street-level violence such as in gang wars, DeInnocentiis said.

"Things they found out we can use on the battlefield, and things we see on the battlefield we bring back and they use right away. It's a great avenue and collaboration with the civilian community."

DeInnocentiis also said that he and his researchers' presence on the HCHS campus is the start of a partnership between his unit and the school that could lead toward future internships.

"Getting them exited about careers in Navy medicine, in math and science – we're going to get them thinking and hopefully going to college, becoming the next researcher – the next person coming into the Navy."

Article and photo by Navy Chief MCS L.A. Shively
Navy Office of Community Outreach
Copyright 2010

Reprinted from Navy News Service

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