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Health Science Institute

Sharing the World of Medicine with
High-Achieving Students

June 2-15, 2024

Deaconess Hospital is proud to support the Health Science Institute. This two-week long program allows high school students to experience medical careers first hand, thereby helping them make informed career decisions in the future. The Health Science Institute is co-sponsored by the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC).

View this video that describes the two-week course for the Health Science Institute.

General Information

Staff - Institute staff consists of certified teachers, health care professionals and/or Health Science Institute alumni.

School Credit - Students earn one semester of high school credit in Advanced Applied Science for satisfactorily completing the Institute. To receive this credit, students must complete the course requirements (as outlined in the syllabus) and present a portfolio and oral presentation of their experiences.

Housing - Housing is in dormitory-type rooms in the Health Sciences Building on the Deaconess Midtown campus in Evansville, Indiana.

Transportation - All transportation is provided. No personal vehicles are allowed.

Policies - Accepted students are expected to follow all policies, rules and dress codes of EVSC and Deaconess Health System. Regulatory requirements include two-step tuberculosis test, or T-spot, and proof of immunization for measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), and varicella. For the protection of students, hepatitis B vaccination is also strongly recommended.

Recreation - While the days and evenings are filled with lectures, field trips, hands-on activities, demonstrations and clinical observations, there is time for recreation and relaxation with fellow students. Planned activities include pizza parties and educational field trips.

Selection Criteria

High school students from Vanderburgh or contiguous Indiana counties are chosen to participate. Students are selected based on the following:

  • Student must be a current high school sophomore or junior in the Indiana counties of Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh or Warrick.
  • Student must be a high-achieving science student and have a science teacher’s online evaluation (to be sent directly to the teacher).
  • Student must have completed a minimum of one year of high school biology or honors physics.
  • Student must have a minimum 3.5 grade point average.
  • Students will be expected to have typed responses to questions within the application. See the first page of the application for details.
  • Qualified students will receive an interview February 17-18, or possibly February 24-25, 2024.  (Subject to change based on weather conditions). View interview tips.
  • Student must submit an up-to-date high school academic transcript.
  • Student must include a recent photo with the online application.
  • All applications are completed online and should be submitted at the same time as the transcript and essay.
Apply Online >

Institute Fee and Associated Costs

The tuition fee for the Institute is $1,800. The fee includes:

  • All meals
  • All costs of field trips
  • Group photo
  • Lab coat
  • PPE for clinicals and hands-on experiences
  • Lab materials, publications, notebooks and handouts
  • Recognition lunch with two guests

The Deaconess School of Nursing Alumni provides tuition assistance for up to five descendants/relatives of Deaconess School of Nursing graduates.

A Typical Institute Day

6:30 – 11:30 am - Breakfast; health care presentations from physicians and staff in emergency medicine, oncology, surgery, pediatrics and other health care professions (physical medicine, nursing, pharmacy, etc.)
11:45 am – 1 pm - Lunch; health care presentations
1:15 – 4:45 pm - On-site visits to departments and units at:
  • Deaconess Midtown - Deaconess Gateway
  • The Women’s Hospital - Deaconess Cross Pointe
  • Encompass Health Deaconess Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Deaconess Linda E. White Hospice House
  • Indiana University School of Medicine
  • University of Evansville
  • University of Southern Indiana
5 – 6:30 pm - Dinner; health care presentations
6:45 – 9:30 pm - On-site clinical observations on nursing units, radiology, laboratory, emergency room, etc.
9:30 – 10 pm - Snacks and reflection; students and staff share the day’s experiences and prepare for the next day’s activities
10 – 10:30 pm - Students in their rooms, organizing notebooks,
preparing for the next day
10:30 – 11 pm - Lights out

Comments from Former HSI Students

“The Health Science Institute taught me about compassion toward others—a way to link science with humanity. It also taught me discipline; for two weeks you have the life of a doctor or nurse, which is something you don’t get to see every day.”

Katie Clark
2002 HSI alumna, 2003 graduate of Reitz High School, respiratory therapy graduate of USI

“The Health Science Institute gave me the wonderful opportunity to explore my interests in pharmacy as well as in many other health professions. I learned
about virtually every part of the hospital so that I could view the medical field first-hand, whether it be working through watching a surgery or shadowing a
nurse. HSI changed my life and the way I look at the medical field.”

Kyle Zoll
2006 HSI alumnus, 2007 HSI-2 alumnus, 2008 graduate of North High School; student at University of Evansville

“Being part of the Health Science Institute really helped me decide that being a nurse was what I was meant to do. I got to experience so many things that I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten to do. It was great to know that I was heading into a profession that I would like before I went through four years of college to figure it out.”

Laura (Clutter) Steiner
2004 HSI alumna, 2005 Wood Memorial High School graduate, nursing graduate of University of Southern Indiana and nurse at Deaconess Hospital.

“HSI was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only did I get to shadow health care professionals, but I was also able to hear lectures from some of Evansville’s top physicians. It confirmed my career path and gave me a passion for medicine.”

Dr. Johnna Kern
2005 HSI alumna, 2006 HSI-2 alumna, 2006 home-school graduate, B/MD graduate of University of Southern Indiana and internal medicine resident in Dayton, Ohio.

“I thought medicine was for me before HSI, and it removed all doubt. Seven years removed and with countless other health experiences under my belt, including serving as a medical intern in our nation’s capital, I find myself relating every opportunity back to my time in HSI. For students interested in health care, you will do yourself a disservice by not spending time with the wonderful doctors, counselors and teachers at HSI–the premiere pre-health care experience.”

Ryan Moog
2003 HSI alumnus, 2004 HSI-2 alumnus, 2005 graduate of North High School, biology/chemistry major at Butler University, intern at So Others Might Eat medical clinic in Washington, DC, Healthcare IT Solution Designer with the Cerner Corporation in Kansas City, Missouri


Contact Information

If you have questions, please contact:

Rachel Heck
HSI Coordinator & FJ Reitz High School Science Teacher
812-217-9196 or

Jesse Rosborough
EVSC Director of Science and Computer Science
618-839-0262 or

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