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Nemours Hosts Rare and Chronic Disease Student Research Event
Nine Delaware high school teams present research on Rare Disease Day 2016

Rare Disease Day 2016 was observed with an education event co-sponsored by Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and Delaware HOSA-Future Health Professionals. The event, designed to encourage student interest in rare health conditions and research that could benefit those affected, was held February 29, world Rare Disease Day.

Nine student teams each consisting of two presenters walked judges and visitors through a visual display about a specific rare disease and answered questions. To prepare, the students researched their topics, met or spoke with a patient and family, and interviewed researchers, physicians and other providers. A judging panel scored the teams on depth of knowledge, artistic impression, presentation skills, and ideas for treatment or improving quality of life. Students also presented their fundraising efforts relative to their topics. 

Many of the students have ambitious goals in the health sciences. Corey Screven, a senior at William Penn High School who is headed to Kutztown University in the fall, has his sights set on emergency medicine. His team mate, Jalin Adderley, also a senior and still making up his mind on which college to attend, hopes to pursue a career as a neurosurgeon. "Politics aside, Dr. Ben Carson is a great role model for me," Jalin said of the pediatric surgeon and presidential hopeful. Other students expressed interest in dentistry, maternal and child health, research and public health.

Overall, the students’ candor, enthusiasm, communication skills and demonstrated knowledge were impressive, giving the judges a hard task. Winners will be announced in April at the HOSA State Leadership Conference in Dover, DE.

Participating high schools and topics included: 

Cape Henlopen High School
Conrad Schools of Science
Delcastle Technical High School
Hodgson Vocational Technical High School
POLYTECH High School
St. Georges Technical High School
Sussex Central High School
William Penn High School
Woodbridge High School

Congenital heart defects
Costello syndrome
Sickle cell disease
Barth syndrome
Rett syndrome
Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Pediatric brain tumors
Primordial dwarfism
Cystic fibrosis


Nemours is an internationally recognized children's health system that owns and operates the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Fla., along with outpatient facilities in six states, delivering pediatric primary, specialty and urgent care. Nemours also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens, and offers on-demand, online video patient visits through Nemours CareConnect.

Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy, and prevention programs to families in the communities it serves.