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San Antonio's…

Judson High School makes its debut with 20 students during St. Philip’s College’s tenth anniversary edition Camp 98.6 Medical Program June 11-15...
Camp 98.6 Archival Photo 01

San Antonio's High-Tech, High-Speed Health Camp Turns 10


STEM awareness program allows 20 Judson High School students to study at city's premiere medical training facilities

St. Philip's College is enhancing the futures of 20 health science technology students from Judson High School next week in the tenth anniversary version of a program that has provided one cost-free week of high-tech study each summer with both the college and the lead Level I trauma center for all of South Texas.

The tenth anniversary edition of the Camp 98.6 program runs June 11-15 and begins June 11-12 in the Center for Health Professions building at 1801 Martin Luther King Drive in the City's Denver Heights neighborhood. The camp concludes June 13-15 off-campus at such University Health System sites as the AirLife helipad, which supports one of the nation's premiere emergency medical services air medical programs.

Jessica Cooper and Melmar Ordinario are college Health Sciences Division department chairs who administer the high-tech, high-speed camp.

During the first two days of Camp 98.6 at St. Philip's College, Judson students will learn the fundamentals of trauma patient care, explained Cooper. At St. Philip's College, those Judson students rotate through all areas which a trauma patient would go through such as surgical technology, radiography and laboratory services, explained Ordinario.

A similar program at Northern Virginia Community College inspired a former chairperson of the St. Philip's College Allied Health Department to replicate this learning experience for 10 Harlandale High School students in 2008, and then to expand the program to 20 students when the college's $49 million Center for Health Professions was opened in 2009. When the second and third CAMP 98.6 events were held in 2009 and 2010, they were held for two weeks at the center for 10 students from Harlandale High School and 10 students from McCollum High School. CAMP 98.6 alumni experiences have ranged from learning with the college's Respiratory Therapy program that is rated Exemplary by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and since 2011, and taking classes at the then-new helipad at the hospital. For several seasons, other alumni have included Fox Tech High School students, and Judson makes its debut in 2018. For nearly all alumni, extensive training on the campus traditionally culminated with study in the Dr. Frank Bryant, Jr., Patient Simulation Center and Nursing Laboratories, which is a college medical simulation facility. The new generation of Judson High School seniors in the 2018 version of CAMP 98.6 will work in facilities upgraded since the Harlandale class of 2008 attended the original camp.

Rick Lopez is the director of the center team that has welcomed and trained Camp 98.6 students since 2009.

"St. Philip's College provides students the opportunity to train in a hospital environment with some of the world's most sophisticated medical simulation technology," said Lopez. "Medical simulation reproduces true-to-life clinical events in an educational setting through the use of live actors, task training devices and a range of life-sized mannequins. Our most high-tech mannequins are able to speak, hear and respond physiologically to the care provided by our students," Lopez said.

College training aids the students will experience with Lopez's staff include a fully-equipped eight-unit hospital suite with a functioning nurse call system, four specialty care rooms that include two intensive care units, a nursery, a birthing room, and a 12-bed skills lab with wall-mounted patient assessment tools and hands-free wash stations. The training aids in the center which 10 years ago were among the most unique nationally because of their quantity and complexity are the human simulators, Lopez explained.

"Medical simulation is the practice of reproducing clinical scenarios in an educational setting to prepare students for actual patient care," Lopez said. "Our approach to simulation involves the use of a wide assortment of task-training devices to teach basic skills and lifelike mannequins to develop total patient care. We have a variety of simulator mannequins ranging from low-fidelity for basic care, to high-fidelity for simulating advanced patient encounters. Students develop and perfect their clinical skills in a real hospital setting with lifelike patients and a hands-on approach to their education," said Lopez.

While in the center, Lopez said each student traditionally monitors heart, lung, blood pressure and bowel sounds while studying with mannequins and instructors in the center and lab.

Study at St. Philip's College has also traditionally groomed the CAMP 98.6 students to work with a professional trauma and AirLife team at University Hospital in a drill simulating a head trauma injury patient arriving at an AirLife helipad. The students move the patient sequentially through such hospital facilities as an emergency room with nursing, radiography, respiratory care, surgery, and rehabilitation services personnel at University Hospital.

University Health System is one of the top health care systems in South Texas. The 604-bed hospital is the primary teaching facility for The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. The center employs and trains St. Philip's College students. Two 2017 college biotechnology engineering program alumni---Nicholas Castro and Rainier Bautista---modified an infant incubator to support the air life operations at University Health System as part of their St. Philip's College clinical experience. Next week, organizers are hoping that many of the CAMP 98.6 students from Judson may make the connections between something inspiring like the flight-ready incubator---and their futures in the health business---during the camp.

For information on the camp, contact Jessica Cooper ( or Melmar Ordinario ( at (210) 486-2050.

 Camp 98.6 Archival Photo 01 Camp 98.6 Archival Photo 02 Camp 98.6 Archival Photo 03
CAPTION: An archival image of Harlandale High School students in St. Philip's College's first CAMP 98.6 program in 2008 and archival images of the program in 2012 are reminders that the tenth anniversary version of the program that has provided one cost-free week of study each summer with both the college and the lead Level I trauma center for all of South Texas---University Health System--- takes place at both partner facilities with a new generation of students from Judson High School June 11-15. In an archival image taken by fellow biotechnology engineering program alumnus Nicholas Castro, alumnus Rainier Bautista operates the controller on an infant incubator the students modified to support the air life operations at University Health System as part of his St. Philip's College clinical experience. The CAMP 98.6 students from Judson may make the connections between something inspiring like the flight-ready incubator---and their futures in the health business---during the camp. (Archival images are SPC images)