PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) – A.R. Gould Hospital has revived a program used to interest youth in careers in health care. News Source 8′s Isaac Potter was there for the first day of the program and has the story.

After a three year hiatus due to the pandemic, A.R. Gould’s Aroostook Career Exploration program has returned for students interested in going into the medical field.

Goldie Ballerstein, Manager of Clinical Education at A.R. Gould Hospital, says “Aroostook Career Exploration program is all about letting kids get the opportunity to experience different careers here at A.R. Gould. It’s a great opportunity for them to get a hands on experience. Understanding what we do here, it takes a community to run A.R. Gould. We have health care fields, but we also have fields that are not healthcare related. So we have your social work, your psychology, your business, and your maintenance and electrician jobs.”

Five local high schools participate in this program throughout the year. On Wednesday, students from Presque Isle High School were given a tour of the different hospital departments and were able to job shadow those different departments. CPR certification was also an option for students. Ballerstein says this program allows students to grow.

Goldie Ballerstein: “Just giving them that opportunity to experience it. I already reached out to a few of the students and make sure they understood that job shadowing is a great opportunity before they go for that degree program if that is something they are interested in. Because the experience on job shadowing is a great opportunity to make sure you really like that, and if you don’t try another job shadow. But it’s a great opportunity being able to experience the careers we have here at A.R. Gould.”

Kayla Bates is the Director of Pharmacy at A.R. Gould and says this program helps students see the actual requirements of the job.

Kayla Bates: “I asked them in the beginning, what do you think of when you think of a pharmacy. The first answer they said was someone who manages prescriptions. So that is your traditional Walmart, Walgreens pharmacy, but there is much more beyond what you see at the front counter of those stores. So bringing the students here and allowing them to sorta see hospital pharmacy and having that hands-on activity is very very important.”

The program will continue to run throughout the school year, with a summer session planned in July. To learn more about the program visit

Isaac Potter News Source 8.


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