One of the reasons that Platte Valley Volunteer Services encourages student volunteers, both high school and college age, is because the experiences and opportunities they come away with can encourage them to consider a healthcare career.
Karl Merz Jr. is one of those student volunteers. Karl’s parents both emigrated from Ghana, West Africa, and met after they arrived in Colorado. Karl is a first generation US citizen and a Colorado native and loves the Broncos!
He has volunteered at Platte Valley for five consecutive summers, since he graduated from high school and was about to enter college. We are proud to have him as a part of the team at Platte Valley.
Karl knew from around the age of 12, when his father suffered a heart attack that he wanted to do something for people who experience a health crisis. He learned much about the needs of heart patients while his father was recovering and even at that young age he knew he wanted to be a part of the medical field. He came to Platte Valley six years later when his mom, who is a nurse, was a patient here. He started volunteering that summer and has come back every year since.
Karl received his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science at CU Colorado Springs, and then went on to St. Louis University for his Masters in Public Health, and now he enters Regis University this fall for his Pharmacy degree.
He has volunteered in the Emergency Room for the past four summers and I asked him what he learned most about a healthcare career while volunteering. Without hesitation he said “teamwork.” It takes a team to ensure good care and he has witnessed that in our Emergency Room.
This summer he is volunteering in the Pharmacy. He just wants to soak it all in and be around the profession so he has even more experience as he enters his Doctorate program this fall.
Karl’s goal is to be a part of, or start, a business where the underserved can obtain vital medicines that they might not be able to obtain elsewhere because of the cost.
I have no doubt that Karl will be an influencer in healthcare in the future, and will always be an advocate for patients and families who need help in a time of crisis.
I am so thankful that we at Platte Valley have been able to be a part of his journey toward his goals and I thank the staff for their part in encouraging and teaching him along the way.
Thank you Karl for your loyalty and commitment to Platte Valley Medical Center!