Prodigy Program Helps Recent Graduates Pursue Careers in Medicine
09/22/2009

PLANO, Texas — Eighteen-year-old Bao-Tran Tran of Sachse has wanted to pursue a career in health care for as long as she can remember.

“I remember playing with a toy stethoscope as a kid and just thinking healthcare would be fun,” she said. “As I got older, my interest just kept growing.”

Now, just three months after graduating from Naaman Forest High School in Garland, Tran is working part-time as a patient care technician in the intensive care unit at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano.

She also attends college tuition-free, thanks to the Texas Health Resources Prodigy Program, an educational and employment opportunity for high school graduates interested in pursuing careers in nursing or allied health.

“I am loving my job — I get to see so many different things and I learn so much,” Tran said.

The Prodigy program allows students to work part time at one of Texas Health’s 14 hospitals while attending school, and Texas Health covers the cost of tuition, fees, books and related supplies.

Tran began the program in June by taking an intensive 10-week summer training experience that prepares students to take the national patient care technician certification exam. After passing the exam, Tran applied for the part-time position and began attending college.

“The Prodigy program has opened a lot of doors for me,” Tran said. “With the way the economy is going, where else can you find someone to find a job for you for free? The program sets you on the right path and gives you enough time to decide if health care is really what you want to do.”

Tran hopes to earn her associate’s degree in radiology at Brookhaven College and later obtain a bachelor’s degree.

“This program is life changing for the students and their families, and we are thrilled to be a part of not only shaping their career paths but serving as their introduction to the field of health care,” said Jim Dunn, Texas Health Resources Chief Learning Officer.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 14 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health Organization for Physicians and Texas Health Physicians Group provide a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.