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Biotechnology Program Aims to Triple Enrollment in Bay Area, Expanding Opportunities for High School Girls

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 General News J E 4
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SAN FRANCISCO, March 15 A program designed to introduce young women to the fast-growing area of biotechnology has opened its application process to high school girls in the Bay Area.

The Perry Outreach Program, which is taught by engineers and orthopaedic surgeons at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (SFGH), is a three-day intensive summer program that emphasizes hands-on lab work and real life surgery situations. Students also learn about force of trauma and then what is required to repair injuries.

Dr. Jenni Buckley, a mechanical engineer and the director of the Biomechanical Testing Facility at SFGH, said, "This program is about giving young women the confidence and experience to pursue careers in these demanding fields. When you get right down to it, orthopaedics is just plain fun. You get to work with your hands, problem solve, and help people."

Buckley founded the program last year with Dr. Lisa Lattanza, an orthopaedic surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) specializing in hand and upper extremity surgery.

"We realized that a lack of early exposure and role models may be the only barriers to young women getting into orthopaedics. That's an easy fix," Lattanza said. "The program has a heavy mentoring focus."

The program fits in perfectly with SFGH, a teaching hospital that partners with UCSF to train doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals. All physicians at SFGH are UCSF faculty.

The program is named for Dr. Jacquelin Perry, a pioneering orthopaedic surgeon and one of the most published researchers in the field, who mentored young women including Lattanza.

This year, the program will triple in size through a grant from Chevron Energy Solutions to the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. Chevron Energy Solutions and its parent company Chevron are committed to encouraging young women to study science and engineering.

"We are pleased to support the Perry Outreach Program at San Francisco General Hospital," said Jim Davis, president of Chevron Energy Solutions. "This program provides an innovative learning opportunity and encourages young women to pursue careers in science and engineering."

The Perry Outreach Program has attracted national media attention and interest from engineers and surgeons from throughout the United States. Applications must be received by April 1, 2010. Apply at www.perryinitiative.org.

Contact: Jenni Buckley (415) 206-8295.

SOURCE The Perry Initiative
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