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You inspired Virginia

Published on Thursday March 14, 2024
Caregiver Kerry Mossler and camper Virginia McWilliams

Medical Careers Camp at Centra Southside Community Hospital

Your support is impacting the dreams of the next generation of Caregivers. Middle school student Virginia McWilliams was able to experience careers in healthcare at the donor-funded 2023 Medical Careers Camp held last summer at Centra Southside Community Hospital.

It's one thing to imagine working in a hospital. It’s quite another to put on scrubs, spend time with nurses, see an X-ray and medical equipment, explore an ambulance and the Centra One helicopter, eat in the cafeteria and learn how Centra Caregivers provide excellent patient care.     

Thanks to your support, local elementary and middle school students were able to experience all of this and then some at the 2023 Medical Careers Camp. The camp was held June 5-9 at Centra Southside Community Hospital (CSCH) and supported by the Centra Foundation's Centra Southside Fund. Students interested in exploring careers in nursing, physical therapy, pharmacy and more were encouraged to attend.

Campers at the 2023 Medical Careers Camp
Campers at the 2023 Medical Careers Camp. 

“I was surprised by how hands-on it was,” said Juanita McWilliams, the mother of camper Virginia McWilliams. “It wasn’t just observation. They really got to participate. I can’t say enough good things about it.” 

The fun-filled, action-packed week ended with a “graduation” – and high hopes for the future. 

“The whole purpose is to expose kids to different health related careers early in their education so hopefully they choose healthcare, and local healthcare, when they graduate from high school,” said Camp Director Kerry Mossler, community engagement and relations manager, CSCH. “We hope to expand the number of camps offered and encourage a whole new generation to go into the field.” 

Middle school student Virginia McWilliams was one of the campers. She dreams of becoming a doctor. Your generosity helped her see her dreams a little more clearly. 

The 11-year-old Farmville resident jumped at the opportunity to participate. An avid reader who likes to learn and hopes to become an OB-GYN, she was introduced to medical terminology, Caregivers in different areas of medicine and new friends.


Virginia at camp
Virginia in the hospital, in an ambulance and with her sister wearing scrubs. 

One experience that stood out for Virginia was getting to practice CPR on manikins. 

“I also got to see how an X-ray works, go inside an ambulance, even see blood. I learned a lot about different jobs. But my favorite part was that we got to wear scrubs every day,” said Virginia, who was excited to “go to work” each day and asked her mother to buy scrubs for her when the camp was over. 

“I really want to do it again!”  

Learn more about how you can impact nursing at Centra and support aspiring Caregivers. 

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