Healthcare may not be the first thing that comes to mind for hospitality majors; however, patient care extends well beyond just providing clinical care. At Northwell, it’s about a patient’s all-around wellbeing that is necessary for their recovery. Sven Gierlinger, Chief Experience Officer and Senior Vice President of the Office of Patient & Customer Experience (OPCE), joined Northwell Health in 2014 from the hospitality industry to transform and innovate the patient experience at Northwell. As part of this mission, he introduced the Hospitality in Healthcare Internship in 2017.
The Hospitality in Healthcare internship is an eight-week, paid program geared toward college juniors and seniors who are passionate about making a difference. It allows students to expand their knowledge of hospitality and apply it in a different way that has more of a meaningful impact. During the program, students partner with mentors who are patient experience leaders at Northwell and shadow hospital-based services such as: patient- and family-centered care, environmental services, food and nutrition, concierge, chaplaincy, marketing, IT, and security.
Upon the close of the program, each intern completes a project assignment, challenging them to focus on one specific patient-centered care opportunity at Northwell. They are tasked with creating a proposal for implementing performance improvement tactics to hospital leadership. These projects help the students think strategically within a large organization, while enhancing their communication, presentation, and project management skills.
“The Hospitality in Healthcare internship is proof that you don’t have to be clinical to make a difference and our interns experience that firsthand,” says Leah Petrosino, Associate Patient and Customer Experience Specialist. “This opportunity allows interns to explore different areas of healthcare, exposing them to various projects and services that enhance the patient experience. The impact this has on the intern, our patients, patients’ families, and our colleagues lasts far beyond the program because it truly proves that every role, every person, and every moment matters at Northwell.”
Interested in learning more about this internship? Click here for more details.