Featured Story

Service Seminar: An Eye-Opening Experience with Jason Shaplen

By: Kate Parker-Burgard, Center for Leadership Director
St. Luke’s parent ('27, ‘30) and health strategist Jason Shaplen recently joined the Service Seminar class to talk about issues related to healthcare, poverty, housing, and the economy. Jason Shaplen served as the CEO of Inspirica for years and is presently the Chief Strategy and New Ventures Officer for Community Health Centers, Inc. He brought deep and broad experience in both the public and private sectors to our classroom.

The Service Seminar is an Upper School elective that provides the opportunity for students to dig into topics that they care about by engaging in both research and hands-on activities. In sharing his rich work experience across multiple sectors, Mr. Shaplen helped students understand the profound interdependence of these issues, including how the places people live, learn, and work affect a wide range of their health and quality-of-life outcomes. He spoke with the class about the work being done on social determinants of health (SDOH) and why addressing these conditions is a critical component of preventative health care, especially for underserved communities. 

Mr. Shaplen shared several revealing insights with the students. One student said, “Mr. Shaplen’s presentation was eye-opening.” She went on to say that she didn’t realize how “being reactive to service issues costs more than being proactive.” Another student said, “Learning that fewer than 25% of homeless children and children in poverty graduate from high school was shocking.” A third student noted, “I was stunned to learn that families have to choose between putting food on the table and buying their children medicine.”

Mr. Shaplen’s visit was a rich reminder of the wonderful resources we have in our community. We are grateful for all that he does for our greater community and the time he gives to St. Luke’s School. 

For photos from the class conversation, click here.

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St. Luke’s School is a secular (non-religious), private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.