AAMI News September 2017

Personal Experiences Inspire Students' Winning Essays

From a field of more than 200 entries, AAMI’s Technology Management Council (TMC) has selected three budding healthcare technology professionals as the winners of its second annual high school essay contest. As part of this competition, students were asked to describe a healthcare technology of the future and how it would improve patient care.

“I’d like to congratulate the winners of this year’s high school essay contest,” said TMC Chair Steve Yelton, a healthcare technology management professor at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College in Ohio. “As an educator, it’s inspiring to see young people take an interest in improving the future of healthcare technology—especially when they’ve been touched by personal experiences that contributed to their interest in the field.”

First Place

Elma Kotapuri
Elma Kotapuri

The TMC awarded top honors and a $500 gift card to Elma Kotapuri, who recently graduated from Danville Area Senior High School in Danville, PA. Kotapuri’s winning essay focused on a communication device with customizable software for people with autism.

“I have been actively involved in a cooperative education program working with autistic children at a primary school,” Kotapuri wrote in her essay. “Working with these kids has allowed me to gain a better understanding of the way they interact with their peers and teachers. If I have learned one thing through this experience, it is that each child is affected by autism in a different way.”

Kotapuri, who has wanted to be a clinical engineer since she was 5 years old, just started her freshman year at Wright State University in Dayton, OH, where she is majoring in biomedical engineering. She hopes she will eventually play at least “a small role in making the world a safer, cleaner, more efficient, and happier place for people and future generations to live.”

Runners Up

Second place was awarded to Alliyah Rumbolt-Lemond, a senior at North Shore Country Day School in Winnetka, IL, who received a $300 gift card. Her essay described a handheld device that paramedics and other first responders could use to perform computerized axial tomography (CAT) scans and X-rays, cutting down the time required to diagnose strokes and other traumatic brain injuries.

Lilly McCormick, a sophomore at Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, MD, won third place and a $200 gift card. McCormick’s essay outlined an approach for killing disease-causing organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites, by targeting their DNA.

When evaluating the ideas submitted by students, members of the TMC did not consider whether they might be products in development at leading manufacturers. Rather, TMC members assessed the creativity of the students.

The next competition will open for entries later this fall. To read Kotapuri’s, Rumbolt-Lemond’s, and McCormick’s winning essays, please visit www.aami.org/essaycontest2016.