While the start of summer usually marks the beginning of the Healthcare Management Program (HMP) Internship at Northwell Health, this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic things looked a little differently.
Due to safety precautions, the elite and extensive 10-week internship was cancelled for summer 2020; however, Northwell’s enthusiasm and passion for the program remained. Internship programs like the HMP are vital to providing students with learning experiences that help them prepare for joining the workforce after graduation. Knowing the importance of engaging our students, Northwell developed a voluntary virtual summer program instead for interested participants who had been previously selected for the HMP Internship.
“Although not configured as our normal internship experience, we wanted to maintain our commitment to the students who chose to spend their summer with us prior to COVID-19,” says Ryon Andersen, associate executive director at North Shore University Hospital. “Their pursuit to understand healthcare management and the culture of Northwell was a priority to us. We wanted them to gain that experience as well as take the opportunity to engage our talent pipeline.”
Though it wasn’t an official internship, this virtual program offered the unique opportunity for upcoming college seniors to participate in weekly sessions where they could learn about healthcare administration, finance and operations, and hear from some of our team members about how our hospitals and service lines handled COVID-19.
Additionally, students were given the option to participate in a voluntary final project. Interested participants were assigned a healthcare topic relevant to today’s industry- telemedicine, ICU bed capacity planning, health disparities, talent and staffing, and finance and operations. Once assigned to groups, they were mentored by senior associates in the Management Associate Program (MAP) and operations and finance leaders to help guide them through their project. Since most of the mentors were alumni of the HMP internship and/or MAP, they were uniquely positioned to guide these students through their research. Students were also given the opportunity to connect virtually with senior leaders across the organization to gain insight into their project areas and Northwell.
“I was impressed with Northwell Health’s willingness to engage us in the HMP program and provide us with a valuable internship experience, even though the internship was cancelled,” says Emily Reyes, a participant in this summer’s program. “I was able to network with employees and other HMP interns and work with a team to analyze data and produce a deliverable related to COVID-19 bed capacity in preparation for a resurgence.”
Once their projects were completed, students participated in a virtual video conference where they could present their work to a panel of Northwell team members. The winning team was presented with a special Northwell gift, but all teams received an invaluable experience that will help prepare them for their future careers.
And for Emily, it’s only furthered her desire to work in healthcare. “The program reaffirmed my interest in hospital operations and finance and I am excited to one day make an impact on the healthcare industry!”
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