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(Left to Right) AUHS Director of Affiliations Chantal Jura, Salvation Army Program Manager David Schwarm, Mayor of Signal Hill Lori Woods, DaVita Recruiting Manager Haley Mehren, and DaVita Regional Operations Director Ryan Welter.

American University of Health Sciences (AUHS) was blessed to have had Signal Hill Mayor Lori Woods and representatives from DaVita and the Salvation Army as guests for its very first Employer Panel on Monday, March 13, 2017. AUHS students gathered in Building 2 of AUHS’ campus to become inspired, learn about new and exciting job opportunities, and obtain valuable career advice.Mayor Woods thanked AUHS nursing students for choosing a “field of compassionate care” for individuals who are sick and in pain.

“Nursing is much needed in the community, there’s a lot of demand but it takes a very special person to fill that demand,” said Mayor Woods, “We are very happy to have AUHS as part of our Signal Hill community. You, (the students), will be a valued asset to any employer that hires you based on your education at AUHS.”

Mayor Woods said that she admired how AUHS students chose to attend a university that was “distinctively Christian” and that she also received her higher education through a private Christian university. Mayor Woods then extended a hand of possible collaboration between AUHS and the city of Signal Hill.

“I just found out that you, (AUHS students), need 100 community service hours, so maybe we can partner,” said Mayor Woods.

Mayor Woods discussed several volunteer opportunities for AUHS nursing students such as after school programs or larger events like the Mayor’s clean-up and the city’s bimonthly senior food distribution program.

Mayor Woods informed AUHS students that nurses can find career opportunities not only in hospitals but in their government as well. The public health department is an area in government that focuses on the general health issues of society such as helping to prevent to spread of disease, protecting the quality of food and water, promoting better health to the community, etc.

“Signal Hill is really small so we don’t have our own health department but Long Beach does. LA County has a large health department,” said Mayor Woods “You might want to consider looking into some municipal or city services that would also provide and hire those in the health care and nursing field. There are good, stable jobs in municipal government and health departments.”

David Schwarm, Program Manager for the Salvation Army was also present at the AUHS Employer Panel to discuss his organization’s work culture and current job opportunities.

“The Salvation Army is more than just a thrift store, it is an international denomination. The Salvation Army has churches in over 160 countries and they do work all over the world,” said Schwarm, “One of the things they have done since the early 1900’s are summer camps.”

Students gather at the AUHS Employer Panel on March 13, 2017.

The summer camp that Schwarm works for is Mt. Craggs which was established in 1939. This summer camp serves up to 2 thousand campers every summer, according to Schwarm.“So being that (Mt. Craggs) is part of the Salvation Army, the goal of the camp is to serve primarily underserved kids. A lot of kids from inner-city LA and all sort of areas that don’t have opportunities to go out in nature or go out and camp for a week,” said Schwarm, “Everything is subsidized through the Salvation Army. Depending on the income of the church that they register with, the camper only has to pay $5, $50 or $150.”

Schwarm told the room that Mt. Craggs was hiring for a head nurse and an assistant nurse for this year’s summer camp (from June 12- August 5, 2017). The head nurse and assistant nurse must tend to children ages 8-17. Those who apply for the head nurse position are required to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Those who apply for the assistant nurse position are only required to have first aid and CPR certification.

“The head nurse has to be like a school nurse. You have to like children and deal with a lot of homesickness and tummy aches. There’s going to be scraped knees, bee stings, insect bites, and other things that you would encounter at a summer camp,” said Schwarm, “A big responsibility is the distribution of medication. Unfortunately, the demographic that we serve comes to camp with cocktails full of medications.”

Haley Mehren, the Recruiting Manager for DaVita was also part of the Employer Panel. DaVita was a fortune 200 company and the largest dialysis provider in the country, according to Mehren. DaVita was in 13 different countries across the world, had 3,300 clinics across American and had about 200 clinics in Southern California.

“I am a nurse as well, I didn’t get out of nursing school and dream that I would be a recruiting manager one day but it’s great work. I love being able to recruit nurses and it’s a really good place to have nurses learn and develop and grow in their careers,” said Mehren.

Dialysis had a couple of different modalities, the first being in-center dialysis.

“In-center dialysis are for patients who are either living at home or are living at a skilled nursing facility and they come in our centers 3 days a week for their dialysis treatments. That’s the bulk of what we do at DaVita,” said Mehren, “What’s great about in-center dialysis is that it’s really a team environment. You’re working with the same group of teammates everyday and you get to work with the same patients everyday so you get to know them really well. It becomes almost like a second family.”

The second modality for dialysis is called acute dialysis which is in a hospital setting.

“Acute dialysis is for patients who are either on dialysis chronically or have patients who have acute kidney injury and need to have a dialysis treatment while they’re in the hospital,” said Mehren, “It’s very different from in-center because it’s pretty fast pace and everyday is a little bit different. You never know what patient is going to pop up and need a dialysis treatment.”

AUHS is a private, for-profit, minority owned, minority serving, Christian-based university whose mission is to educate and equip students with life careers and to produce quality health care professionals for the community, the nation, and the world. It is a university where appreciation of life and one’s spiritual reason for existence can be nurtured.
AUHS offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) and a Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR). To request more information, email or call (562) 988-2278. For the latest news, pictures and videos of American University of Health Sciences’ events, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AUHS_Campus and Instagram @auhsedu.