Sports Medicine students at the Tech Center at PNW BOCES not only study anatomy and physiology and do hands-on training, but they do internships to help them determine specific areas of medicine they are most interested in. Many of this year’s second-year students received scholarships and will work toward health-related degrees.
Kevin Valdes, Mahopac, worked at Northern Westchester Hospital both with the operations manager and in the ER. He said both the Sports Medicine class and his internship helped him decide what to major in in college.
“Studying anatomy and physiology and learning to do orthopedic assessments no doubt helped give me the confidence to work with people,” said Valdes, who was accepted into an accelerated physician’s assistant program at DeSales University. Valdes said teacher Dr. Will Brightman is also instrumental in inspiring students to pursue their passion in the field. “He is amazing, inspiring and accommodating. He really wants us to succeed.”
Jessica Reiner, from North Salem, interned in Brightman’s Chiropractic and Sports Medicine office recently. “I was able to interact with patients and learn more about healthcare,” said Reiner, who will major in public health and physician’s assistant programs at Nova Southeastern University. “The Sports Medicine class gave me so much insight into different fields of medicine.”
Mahopac High School student Tess Bartman interned with Cove Care, Carmel, in the psychiatric outpatient department as well as with a child psychiatrist. “When I came to the Sports Medicine program I wanted to be a naturopath,” said Bartman. “But after learning about all the different fields, I fell in love with western medicine.” Bartman will study biology and psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Luca Petriello, Mahopac, interned at Aon Physical Therapy in Brewster. “I learned different therapy techniques. I knew I wanted to be a physical therapist, but this class helped me discover that I like the hands-on aspects of athletic training.” Petriello will major in athletic training at Sacred Heart University.
Colleen MacNeil, Mahopac, is interning at North Westchester Restorative Therapy & Nursing Center. “I am going to further my education at College Of Mount Saint Vincent as a nursing major,” she said.
Matthew Vassallo, Mahopac, interned at Northern Westchester Reconstructive Nursing Center in Mohegan Lake. “This class and the internship really prepared me for a major in the healthcare field,” said Vassallo, who will attend Iona College. “What we learned in class is totally relevant to the real world. When I was interning, they were so impressed that I already knew how to read an EKG machine. We learned that here.”
Joseph Muratore, Mahopac, also interned at Aon Physical Therapy. “This class really showed me what is out there in the field,” Muratore said. “It helped me focus in on what was interesting to me.” Muratore will study human performance and health promotion at SUNY Morrisville.
Photo: from left: Kevin Valdes and Matthew Vassallo (Mahopac); Jessica Reiner (North Salem); Luca Petriello, Joseph Muratore, and Tess Bartman (Mahopac).