Photos from our Summer 2019 Internship Cohort
Photos from our Summer 2018 Internship Cohort
Photos from our Summer 2016 Internship Cohort
2019 Codman Summer Internship Program
The partnership between Codman Square Health Center and Codman Academy is now approaching two decades. At the heart of this collaboration is the mission to integrate health and education and increasing academic and overall well-being of its students, families and thus our communities in and around Dorchester and the surrounding neighborhoods.
One of the signature projects of this long-standing partnership, is the Codman Summer Internship Program. The internship program was started eight years ago under the championship of CSHC, Chief of Staff, Anthony Stankiewicz, and has continued to grow since then with funding support from BCBS of MA and John Hancock MLK Summer Scholars Program. Now being in the very capable hands of the Partnership Director, Chetna Naimi, the internship program is based on simple premise to motivate, inspire and empower Codman Academy youth, almost all of them are youth of color, and come from Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park and nearby neighborhoods, to consider and reach for healthcare career, for many of these youth simply a chance to “stay off the streets and thus out of trouble”.
This summer too, Codman Square Health Center is yet again humming with youthful energy as 21 summer interns work in 14 different departments with assigned roles and responsibilities and projects. The internship program aims to provide a real life work experience to these young adults, inspiring them to pursue college degree or professional courses, and above all motivate them to stay the course once they start college or any other professional course. The interns are challenged to work with commitment, sincerity and professional vigor and are expected to responsibly us the stipend earned. Majority of these interns do not have a family member who is either in any healthcare profession or has even attended college or graduate school. These eight weeks bring that perspective along with a professional environment, ethics and accountability factor that inspires these adolescents to get to their job at 8.30 a.m. or 9 a.m. be professionally dressed, communicate appropriately with their colleagues and patients, problem solve a technical or interactive challenge, and so much more.
The internship positions are announced in early March, students are required to complete the job application, attend an interview session, and provide references from their high school teachers, followed by a waiting period to hear if they actually got the job. As interns are selected, a group of dedicated CSHC staff members from all different departments step up to volunteer their time and skills to mentor, guide, and supervise these young adults for summer. These dedicated health center staff engage the interns into meaningful projects which include anything from day to day floor duties, shadowing providers, preparing patient rooms, helping patients with registration, call center translations and patient intake and to designing robust community outreach efforts etc. All interns go through a detailed orientation and training, along with receiving ID badges and access to health center area, just like the rest of the health center staff. The department where interns are placed include but are not limited to: Patient Registration, Urgent Care, IT, Family Medicine, Marketing and Communications, Lab, and others. This one of a kind internship program not only provides a valuable professional work experience, but also provides interns with a good stipend, onsite staff guidance and support, weekly career enrichment activities, exploration of public health challenges in the community, financial literacy training, and Mayor Menino Friday Forum events.
With one in five jobs in Boston area being health care related, we hope to provide an ever-growing path out of poverty through professions that offer stable middle-class and upper middle-class incomes; most importantly, it helps close health disparity gaps in populations of color, who often feel alienated from the providers who mean to serve them by racial and ethnic barriers, real and perceived. As this internship program heads forward, we are already seeing the impact, as two of our summer intern alumni are now full-time staff at CSHCS (Family Medicine and Pharmacy) and many of them are pursuing nursing, lab, pharmacy and radiology technicians courses in various local colleges and universities.
The eight weeks internship period ends with a celebration where interns and supervisors share their experience, challenges and gratifying moments. Family members, CSHC staff and Codman Academy staff and community members are all invited to the event, which serves as a moment of joy and pride for many of these adolescents who would have just completed first paid professional job of their life.