MASH Camp Heartens Health Care Interest

Kona Community Hospital is proud to announce its fifth year anniversary of MASH (Medical Academy of Science and Health) Camp. This year’s summer camp is scheduled for July 18-19. Students in eighth, ninth and tenth grade experience the real world of hospital health care by visiting different parts of the hospital and given vital information from experts in the field.

“We see this as a meaningful opportunity for students in our community to explore a career in health care. They are able to learn directly from our professional staff who are excited to share their knowledge and experience with the kids,” commented Jay Kreuzer, CEO of Kona Community Hospital.

The free program includes a two-day camp, lunch and snacks, a set of scrubs and a certificate of completion. The students explore 10 different health care careers including diagnostic imaging, radiation oncology, orthopedic surgery, laboratory, respiratory therapy, rehabilitation services and more. They are also given beneficial information about occupations in these fields such as years of education required, salary ranges, and the pros and cons about the jobs.

“MASH Camp opened up my eyes and made me realize how strongly I wanted to be a surgeon,” said Angelica Paguyo, an upcoming senior at Konawaena High School and one of the participants in the first MASH Camp. “Yes, I know it is a difficult field but being able to participate in this program and learn more about health care has made me determined to follow this path. I feel so fortunate that I was given the opportunity to be part of this amazing program. I was in eighth-grade just thinking about what I wanted to be and now this will be my final year of high school and MASH Camp helped shape my future.”

Emily Mendez-Bryant, Community Relations Director of KCH, notes that MASH Camp helps young people to consider career opportunities they might not otherwise be aware of. “This program has enabled us to foster the interest of local kids who want to pursue a career in health care. Due to the evolving healthcare industry and technology, there are so many different career opportunities for our keiki, more than ever before. And, we know there is a need for something like this because every year we have more than enough applications to fill the positions. We are excited that students enjoy it and that it can certainly make a difference in their life and what they want to do in the future.”

Due to its popularity and limited positions, students must apply for MASH Camp. A key component to the application is the two-part essay that asks why do you want to attend MASH Camp and what do you want to be when you grow up. The application due date is June 13.

For more information or an application, contact 322-6960 or

Founded in 1914, Kona Community Hospital is a 94-bed full-service acute-care hospital with 24-hour emergency services that supports the west region of the island of Hawaii. It is a member of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, a special agency of the state of Hawaii established in 1996. It is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Kona Community Hospital is dedicated to providing and enhancing accessible comprehensive healthcare services to the West Hawaii community.