June 8, 2017

New internship programs set to benefit diverse group of students

This summer, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) will be the site for two internship programs geared to connect diverse students interested in health care.

This summer, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) will be the site for two internship programs geared to connect diverse students interested in health care.

In an effort to ensure a more diverse population of professionals in administrative roles, Vanderbilt signed on as one of the organizations providing internship opportunities for minority undergraduate and recent college graduate students through Health Care Connections (HCC).

HCC was founded in 1990 by a small group of health care executives who were inspired by their own internship experiences and later committed themselves to empowering young people to pursue health careers and increasing diversity in the health care arena.

During the 10-week internship, VUMC will host eight interns who will work with senior leaders in seven areas of the Medical Center — Emergency Services/Lifeflight, Ophthalmology, Population Health, Human Resources, Space Management, Interpreter Services at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and with the Deputy Chief Executive Officer’s Office.

“We are very committed to diversifying our workforce and developing a pipeline of talented and diverse future employees,” said Traci Nordberg, Chief Human Resources Officer. “Vanderbilt has many programs throughout the Medical Center focused on diversity efforts in clinical and research areas, and we want to complement that by boosting our minority representation in the management level and in administrative roles.

Diversity and inclusion is a key strategy for VUMC, said André Churchwell, M.D., Chief Diversity Officer for VUMC.

“It’s imperative that we build a pathway for people of varied backgrounds to seek employment with us,” said Churchwell, the Levi Watkins Jr. M.D. Professor, professor of Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Radiology and Radiological Sciences and senior associate dean for Diversity Affairs. “If we are to be a leader in patient care, serve as teachers leading the way in innovation and research, then we need to represent the people that we serve on all levels of the enterprise.”

The HCC Summer Internship Program provides undergraduates and recent college graduates with practical experience, exposure, mentoring, professional development and networking.
Vanderbilt is also working with Nashville Mayor Megan Barry’s Opportunity NOW youth employment program to provide 24 local teenagers and young adults work experience in the health care field.

The Opportunity NOW initiative offers participants, ages 14-24, hands-on experience and access to one of the largest employers in the area.

“It is a wonderful way to introduce Vanderbilt to our future workforce,” Nordberg said. “We are looking forward to working with this youth employment program and helping the next generation develop valuable life skills and confidence necessary to be successful in the workplace.”

Opportunity NOW participants are set to begin in June in the following areas: Nutrition Services, Human Resources Talent Operations, HR — TempForce, Finance, Healthcare Facilities Management, Hearing and Speech Sciences Bill Wilkerson Center, VUMC IT, Business Operations, Bill Wilkerson Center, Bill Wilkerson Center — Communications Office, Children’s Hospital, VUMC Gift Shop, Main OR Perioperative Support, Otolaryngology and the Vanderbilt Voice Center.