In 2005, Abilene ISD administrators Dr. Cathy Ashby and Dr. Virginia Mosier had a vision to create a health occupations high school for students in AISD. This vision became a reality thanks to many generous donors, most notably Dr. Scotty Holland, an Abilene High and Hardin-Simmons University alumnus whose large contribution helped create a state-of-the-art health science facility.
Holland Medical High School officially opened for the 2007-08 school year and eventually made its home in the brand new Holland Health Science Building on the HSU campus. Now, 10 years later, almost 2,000 students have walked the halls and benefitted from the specialized educational mission of AISD’s first magnet high school.
Today, Holland offers courses in Health Science Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy, Registered Dental Assistant, Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Advanced Placement Language and Composition and American Literature. Students at Holland have the opportunity to earn numerous healthcare related certifications and work closely with Abilene healthcare professionals through clinical rotations and internships.
The Holland experience has provided many students with a springboard to further their healthcare education beyond high school. From there, many have already become registered nurses, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, physicians and more.
While there are too many successful former students to mention them all by name, here are a few “spotlight” graduates from Holland Medical High School:
- Josh Combs utilizes his Masters of Health Administration as a Medical Laboratory Scientist forTransfusion and Tissue Services at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.
- Briana Money is in her third year of residency at the North Colorado Family Medical Center in Greeley, Colorado. Her medical rotations have taken her to Houston, Thailand, and Alaska.
- Marie Dufitumukiza, MD, came to Abilene as a refugee student. Dr. Dufitumukiza is a pediatric physician for the Division of Neonatology at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Dulce Mancine earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and currently serves as a registered nurse for Cook Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Fort Worth.
- Alfred Bayaton earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Masters in Biomedical Science. He is currently a Graduate School Human Gross Anatomy Teaching Assistant at Mississippi College and is an aspiring medical student.
- Michelle Grove is a respiratory therapist at Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo.
- Jordan Sanders studied at Texas Tech University’s School of Nursing to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and is a registered nurse in Cardiology for Hendrick Medical Center.
- Jacob Hamilton lives in Beaumont and is an Environmental Investigator for the Texas Commission on Environmental Control.
- Alyssa Nieto earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Hardin-Simmons University and is employed at the Health South Rehabilitation Hospital in Fort Worth.
A 10-year anniversary celebration is in the planning stages for the 2018 spring semester. The future is bright for Holland Medical High School, which continues its pledge to serve others by “preparing healthcare professionals today for the medical workplace tomorrow.”