Northwestern Memorial Hospital offers crash course on the heart and professions available in the field. By Agnes Jasinski, Special to the Tribune June 24, 2009

Estela Mendez has become well-versed in the language of cardiology over the last few years, acting as a translator between her Spanish-speaking mother and the doctors treating her mother's heart problems. 

It was no surprise then that the teen was eager to apply for a summer program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital that offered a weeklong crash course on the intricacies of the heart and professions available in the field of cardiology.

"Coming here, with the focus on learning from experts, really seemed like the perfect idea," said Mendez, 17.

Mendez and 15 other seniors from the Young Women's Leadership Academy Charter School of Chicago, an all-girl public school for Grades 7 through 12 recently completed the inaugural session of the Cardiology Summer Academy at Northwestern Memorial's Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute.

The cardiology program is one of four science academies held by the Women's Health Science Program at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

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