Mercy Medical Center staff inspires students at 25th Shadow Day


About 30 sophomores, juniors and seniors from Baldwin High School’s Medical Academy partnered up with a mentor at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre on April 16 during the program’s 25th annual Shadow Day event.

The event, part of a year-long partnership program between the Baldwin School District and Mercy, helps bring students into a professional environment. Several students are volunteers within a variety of departments during the school year as well. 

“The collaboration with Mercy allows us to offer our students a richer experiential learning opportunity, which simply can’t be learned in the classroom,” said Barbara Reese, Baldwin High School’s school-to-career program coordinator.

With nursing and doctor shortages on the rise, students shadowed professionals in virtually every department within the hospital, including nursing, radiology, physical therapy, social work, biomedical engineering, pharmacy and occupational therapy. Students gained professional experiences in the business and medical setting while connecting what they learned in the classroom.

“Shadow Day was just as immersive for the staff at Mercy as it was for the students,” said Barbara Gibbons, Mercy Medical Center’s chief nursing officer. “It provided an opportunity for our staff to not only serve as mentors, but to be reminded of the impact that they make on a daily basis to patients, families and the community. We are honored to participate in this tradition and are excited to continue to partner with Baldwin in helping shape the future nurses, doctors, technicians, businessmen, businesswomen and professionals in our community.”

Baldwin High School’s Lila Ariste, who shadowed Mother and Baby Nurse Manager Barbra Kahn, said, “Shadow Day was a great experience because it taught me that medicine is not only about taking care of patients but it’s also important to learn managerial skills.”

Ariste was able to attend many meetings with Kahn and even scrubbed into a C-section.

Baldwin High School is the only school district on Long Island to participate in a shadow day with Mercy Medical Center and has been its partner for 25 years. At the event, the district presented the staff with a plaque as a token of their appreciation.