AltaMed Helps Students Build Skills for Health Careers

AltaMed Escalera students learning new technology

The AltaMed Escalera and Avanzando Through College programs give students in under-resourced communities exposure to careers in health care.


Forty-five college and high school students took part in AltaMed’s workforce development department’s first Bio Skills Day, which gave them a close-up look at different career paths in the health field.

The morning began with a panel discussion featuring members of the AltaMed team: Marco Angulo, M.D., Medical Director; Norma Perez, M.D., staff pediatrician; and Edmond Davis, Senior Director for Health Equity for Zimmer Biomet, a global leader in innovative orthopedic solutions.

For the first time, we have partnered with one of the leading med tech companies, Zimmer Biomet, in exposing students to the world of orthopedics. Members from Zimmer Biomet’s health equity team (Courtney Havens-Mitchell, Bishop James, and Lindy Shaw) flew out for the workshop and brought cutting-edge equipment that allowed the students to practice mixed reality medicine. AltaMed medical staff led students in hands-on workshops practicing actual medical techniques.

Dr. Marco Angulo led a suturing workshop where students were able to practice sutures hands-on.

Jocelyn Cruz, a senior from South East High School, said, “I liked the suturing workshop because it was a hands-on experience that we participated in and learned based [off] a short presentation. Being able to use pig feet to practice how to suture was the closest thing to a human skin which was a good experience.”

Daniel Diaz, M.D., Sports Medicine Medical Director, led students in an ultrasound imaging workshop.

During the workshop session led by Zimmer staff, students donned Mixed-Reality Headset goggles that combined the real and virtual worlds. The headset is part of Zimmer Biomet’s mixed-reality system, which transforms how patients and care teams learn about complex procedures, products, and workflows.

The workshops were well-received by students like Nayomi Perez from South Gate High School, who said, “What I enjoyed about this event was that we were able to do hands-on activities and learn from professionals who know a lot about healthcare. They were very helpful and passionate about what they do, which made my experience way better.”


AltaMed Escalera students learning new technology
AltaMed's Dr. Angulo with Escalera students

Pathways to Success

The Escalera program offers individual counseling, career planning resources, networking opportunities, financial aid, and STEM awareness. Escalera also guides students through the college application process, helping them explore different colleges and identify internship opportunities. Escalera is a collaborative program between AltaMed, Unidos, and partners like Zimmer Biomet. It is open to students from South Gate High School, South East High School, Theodore Roosevelt High School, and James A. Garfield High School.

Avanzando Through College is designed to help first-generation Latino students understand the higher education system and graduate with a college degree. The program offers monthly workshops, individual case management, and experiential learning activities like Bio Skills Day.

As AltaMed continues to prioritize health equity and community empowerment, events like this help nurture the next generation of health care leaders. Through partnerships and initiatives aimed at building healthy communities and advancing STEM education, AltaMed continues to make progress toward reducing healthcare inequities and inspiring positive change.


For more information on these programs or if you would like to support the next generation of health care leaders, please contact AVP of Development Fanny Arroyo Oliveira, [email protected].

AltaMed Foundation

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