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BC sophomore lands scholarship through health research

Filed in Archive, BCHS, Student Spotlight by on November 15, 2018

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Bethlehem High School student Stacey Lee has turned a hands-on lesson in vascular and heart health into a cool $1,000 scholarship the sophomore can use to help pay future college expenses. She earned the V-Healthy Day Scholarship through a research project and essay she wrote after attending a program at the high school last spring designed to teach students about the long-term health impacts of smoking, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and genetics.

V-Healthy Day took place on March 13, 2018, drawing educators, health professionals and volunteers to the high school and to Lee’s Honors Biology class. The students were able to get an insider’s look at a career in health care as they learned about patient diagnosis and assessment, discussed symptoms, treatment and post-care and had a chance to handle medical equipment including some of the stents, wires, and catheters that are used to treat people with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD).

Following the presentation, science teacher Paul O’Reilly shared the scholarship information with students. Lee embraced the challenge and using her mother as a test subject, went to work on assembling some research to support her scholarship application.

“I had to measure the blood pressure and heart rate of an adult every day for one week as well as write down the meals and food consumed and what exercises were performed each day. Then I had to write an essay on what vascular health was and what the importance of V-Healthy Day was,” said Lee, who says she is considering a career in health care. “It was a regional competition that included students from 14 schools who had all participated in V-Healthy Day.”

Lee, who applied for the scholarship last May, was notified just last month that she had been chosen as a scholarship winner. She and Mr. O’Reilly recently attended a regional Vascular Roundtable that brought students, teachers and health care specialists together in October to discuss health care, V-Healthy Day and more.

Asked what she would share with her fellow students about the importance of vascular health, Lee had this to say:

“Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will reduce the risk of getting vascular diseases, strokes, or heart attacks in the future,” said Lee. “Just by increasing your physical activity and paying more attention to the food choices you make, you can improve your vascular health. It only takes one small action to make a big difference.”

A special thank you to Dr. Philip Paty, a vascular surgeon and Bethlehem resident, for bringing the V-Healthy Day program to the high school. Dr. Paty is one of the Vascular Health Partners with the Center for Vascular Awareness.

V-Healthy Day 2019 is tentatively scheduled for next March at the high school.