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2nd Annual Student Essay Contest Winners Announced

Simi Valley Hospital President and CEO Gary Irish and Chief of Staff Gregg Hartman recently recognized three local students at a special ceremony that celebrated their outstanding winning essays as part of a hospital sponsored student essay contest. Each student was awarded a check for $300 and extended accolades in front of their parents and loved ones for their winning health themed paper.

“The purpose of the essay contest is to encourage young people to pursue a career in health care,” said Jeremy Brewer, director of Marketing and Communication. “If we can guide one student into a career as a nurse, doctor, lab technician or therapist, the effort is all worth while.”

Public and private school students in Simi Valley and Moorpark participated in the effort that collected approximately 60 essays, which are currently on display in the Aspen Outpatient Center lobby for the general public to read and enjoy. Portions of the winning essays will also be reprinted in Your Health, the Simi Valley Hospital community newsletter.

Students in grades 3 to 5 were asked to write an essay of 100 words or more and/or submit a drawing that answered the question “If the patient care tower had a mascot, what would it be?”

For students in grades 6 to 8, the topic of their essay of a minimum of 500 words was “What will be the greatest breakthrough in medical technology or medicine in the next ten years, and how will it make peoples lives better?”

Students in grades 9 to 12 answered the question “What will be the greatest breakthrough in medical technology or medicine in the next ten years, and how will it make people’s lives better?” in an essay of 1,000 words or more.

“It was a very difficult decision in coming to a winner for each of the three categories,” said Paula Lewis, SVH vice president and one of four contest judges. “Each essay was excellent in its own way, but a few stood out above the rest.”

The following are the winners for each category. To read the winning essays, click on the topic link. (Essays have been edited slightly to facilitate readability.)

ESSAY WINNER: Grades 3 to 5

Haley White
Atherwood Elesmentary
Age 10; Grade 5

If the patient care tower had a mascot, what would it be?

ESSAY WINNER: Grades 6 to 8

Lauren Lehde
Simi Valley Adventist School
Age 13; Grade 8

What will be the greatest breakthrough in medical technology or medicine in the next ten years, and how will it make peoples lives better?

ESSAY WINNER: Grades 9 to 12

Michael Marshall
Santa Susana High School
Age 18; Grade 12

What are the key principles of wellness, and how does following them create a healthy community?