WHAT Community Pizza Night to benefit Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital’s Explorers Post 804
WHERE Grotto Pizza, 1159 N. Dupont Highway, Dover
WHEN 4 to 9 p.m., Monday
CONTACT Terry Towne at (302) 744-6725 or teressa_towne@bayhealth.org.

With the help of the state’s leading industries, schools and local organizations across the state have worked to ensure that students are career and college ready by the time they graduate from high school. Explorers Post 804 at Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital is aiding in those efforts.

The Del-Mar-Va Council of Boy Scouts of America runs the Explorers program and businesses sponsor posts. At Bayhealth, students ranging from age 14 to 20 from high schools across Kent and Sussex counties are given the chance to learn about various careers with in the healthcare industry, said Terry Towne, lead advisor for Bayhealth’s Explorers program and clinical educator with Bayhealth.

“I think the program provides students with exposure to areas they wouldn’t normally have access to especially if they have any interest in a particular field such as nursing, radiology or anything like that.”

The program has grown by leaps and bounds this year and now consists of more than 70 students from schools and colleges throughout Kent and Sussex.

The program holds monthly meetings, during which students are briefed on topics ranging from neurosurgery to how to give a patient an IV. Students are also given the chance to tour departments within the hospital.

Alli Wishin, a junior at Polytech and member of Explorers, knew she eventually wanted a job in healthcare, but was unsure of the exact career path she wanted to take; Explores helped her decide.

“There is a forensic nursing department in the hospital, and I’m interested in doing that,” she said. “When we visited that area it was really interesting to be there and see what they do. It definitely helped me choose an area I’m interested in working in.”

Aside from the program’s monthly meetings, members of the Explorers also participate in community outreach efforts, such as making Christmas ornaments for Kent General’s annual Festival of Trees and putting on a puppet show for Bayhealth’s asthma awareness day. The volunteer opportunities are an aspect of the program that Wishin appreciates.

“The volunteer activities are good for college because you can put on your application that you did all these volunteer activities, but it was just part of Explorers,” she said.

The program also teaches students skills that will be important in the future, Towne said.

“I think the program teaches them leadership skills and how to work together,” Towne said. “It also helps improves their self-confidence.”

A fundraiser is being held for the Explorers Post 804 on Monday at Grotto Pizza in Dover. Patrons interested in helping the post can contact Towne to get a coupon. Patrons can then present that coupon when they dine at Grotto or pick up carry-out orders on Monday and an amount equal to 20 percent of their bill will be donated to the Explorers at Kent General, Towne said.

In addition to the Grotto Pizza fundraiser, the Bayhealth Explorers Post is having a flap jack fundraiser at Applebee’s in Camden from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., April 26.  Tickets for the event are $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. Those interested in purchasing tickets can contact Towne at teressa_towne@bayhealth.org.

“The fundraiser it to defray the cost of scrub tops for the growing number of student who have been attending on a regular basis,” Towne said. “It’s also a good way for us to network with the community and help us become more visible.”