Bon Secours recently recognized three high school seniors at Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center for their completion of Project SEARCH, a national school-to-work program. Project SEARCH provides hands-on training to students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities through internships at health care facilities and other businesses, with a goal of employment upon completion. 

“Each year, we see incredible growth in these Project SEARCH graduates and it’s a privilege to be a part of that, so the completion of the program is always a bittersweet time for us,” said Kate Brinn, president, Maryview Medical Center. “We are so proud of the commitment and dedication displayed by these graduates, and we are thrilled that two of them have joined us full time, so we don’t have to say goodbye.”

At a celebration event this month, Bon Secours awarded certificates to three students from Southeastern Cooperative Educational Programs (SECEP) for completion of their nine-month Project SEARCH internships at Maryview Medical Center in Portsmouth. Two of the graduates have been brought on full time in the hospital’s environmental services department while the third graduate will seek employment in his local community.

Through Project SEARCH, the students are assigned to a Bon Secours hospital in their locality; each student rotates through three hospital departments. Teachers, teaching assistants and job coaches provide them with direct instruction during the rotations, collaborating with hospital department supervisors. Working with hospital supervisors and staff, the students receive hands-on skills training, including stocking supplies, filing, copying, assembling paperwork packets, making deliveries, cleaning, sanitizing equipment, turning over patient rooms and putting together supplies for the nursing units. Each student sets a goal of gaining employment by the end of the school year.

Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center’s partnership with Project SEARCH began in 2013 with the first graduating class in June of 2014. THROUGHOUT the past nine years, 46 students have graduated from the Project SEARCH program at Maryview Medical Center. Bon Secours operates four Project SEARCH sites across the state: one in Portsmouth and three in the Richmond area.