Adieu, 2019 Summer Interns

2019 Summer Interns (from left to right): Sarah Morgan, Andrew Fingeret, Corina Paraschiv, Janelle DeBaldo, Cindy Vincente, Kyle Terrill, Adele Flaherty, Kyla Christensen, Elizabeth Balskus, Kandis Mason, and Diane Smith.

The staff of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation bids a fond farewell to 11 emerging healthcare leaders who shared their enthusiasm, talent, and insights through the 10-week summer 2019 internship.

The interns explored the foundational principles of healthcare safety and quality; and helped to advance ongoing initiatives related to maternal health, adolescent behavioral health, HIV/AIDS, healthcare innovation, and seniors. Elizabeth Balskus, a doctoral student in healthcare ethics at Duquesne University; Sarah Morgan, an MPH student at the University of Pittsburgh; Corina Paraschiv, who studies healthcare policy and management at Carnegie Mellon University; and Janelle DeBaldo, a recent graduate in communication management from the University of Dayton; took the opportunity to also participate as fellows in the Patient Safety Fellowship this summer. The Fellowship focused on using quality improvement and implementation science methodology to look at maternal health programs from across Pennsylvania.

The interns were especially insightful in helping to develop strategic materials for the September 2020 Liftoff PGH conference, focusing on healthcare innovation. Morgan and Paraschiv developed media and marketing strategies to engage various audiences, including developing personae for different stakeholder groups and the right messaging strategy to reach each audience. They also researched thought leaders, compelling research, influencers, and journalists from across the nation that could contribute to the goals of Liftoff PGH, and presented a database of resources.

Others supported the Senior Connections initiative, researching best practices for keeping older adults active, engaged, and health physically and emotionally throughout their lives. They were Kyla Christensen, an MSW student at the University of Pittsburgh; Andrew Fingeret, who will be pursuing a bachelor's degree in international affairs at George Washington University; Adele Flaherty, a doctoral student in healthcare ethics at Duquesne; Diane Smith, a recent graduate in communication science and disorders from Ohio University; and Kyle Terrill, who is pursuing a master's degree in social work and public health at the University of Pittsburgh.

They compiled research on best-practice models for seniors in several U.S. metropolitan areas on such issues as housing options, preventative care and services, access to transportation. The interns also helped to develop materials for the upcoming GRAN senior academy and inter-generational reading programs.

Terrill said he especially appreciated going out across Pittsburgh with JHF's community health worker program. "I'm specializing in direct practice with individuals, families and small groups," he said. "I got hands-on experience in community, organization, and social action that otherwise would not have been available to me just through my studies."

Assisting the work of WHAMglobal was Janelle DeBaldo and Kandis Mason, MPH from State University of New York. Cindy Vicente, an MSW student specializing in community, organization, and social action at Pitt, supported the HIV/AIDS team, and Elizabeth Balskus worked on JHF's Adolescent Behavioral Health Initiative.

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