In 2010, Baxter provided start-up funding and hands-on support to open the Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy (IHSCA), Chicago's first charter health science career academy, dedicated to preparing students for healthcare careers. On September 22, 2011, IHSCA hosted the grand opening of its new 100,000 square-foot educational center in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood with multiple community, business and civic leaders. The center houses 10 laboratories outfitted for various science experiments, and is expected to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification. Baxter scientists and other employee volunteers will teach, sponsor lab tours and provide career advice to students throughout the year.
The charter school, which currently serves more than 200 freshmen and sophomores and will serve 600 students when fully enrolled, focuses on preparing students for success in healthcare careers. The school is helping to address the shortage of Latinos represented in healthcare careers and support Chicago's efforts to provide high-quality education options. The IHSCA provides students with a rigorous college prep curriculum that prepares them for success in competitive colleges and universities, and offers the opportunity for students to earn professional certifications for entry-level positions in healthcare. It also provides job shadowing, career readiness and internship programs in an effort to create the next generation of healthcare leaders.