JHF Internship Program Resumes After One-Year Hiatus

(L to R): Gabriella Agostaro, Chelsea Dickson, Maria Mervine, Mikaela Moore, Rachel Niyonzigira, Lauren Paine, Luna Plaza, and Arin Ruhl.

The internship program has returned to the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) this summer with eight interns serving across all the Foundation's focus areas. This year's program has some notable differences from previous years, with a more customized schedule and program for each individual, including hybrid participation and skill-building grounded within the various program areas. The eight interns bring a diverse range of academic backgrounds and interests.

Gabriella Agostaro is a doctoral student at Duquesne University pursuing a degree in healthcare ethics. She will be supporting the JHF Aging Team with work on end-of-life initiatives and the Death and Dying Fellowship. Her areas of interest include end-of-life care and the equitable treatment of patients with psychiatric conditions.

Chelsea Dickson is pursuing her MPH in health policy and management at the University of Pittsburgh. She also is supporting the JHF Aging Team with a focus on dementia from a public health perspective as well as the Revisiting the Teaching Nursing Home initiative. Previously, Dickson was a communications manager at the learning disability nonprofit Understood in New York.

Maria Mervine is a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, pursuing Master of Social Work and Master of Business Administration degrees. She joined JHF as an intern for the HIV/AIDS program in 2021 and is continuing throughout the summer. Mervine received her bachelor's degree from Allegheny College in 2018 and has spent the last four years working as a therapist at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital.

Mikaela Moore is a second-year master's student at the University of Pittsburgh, pursuing an MPH in epidemiology with a certificate in health equity. She is working on JHF's women's health initiatives as part of WHAMglobal this summer. In the past, Moore has worked with nonprofit collaboratives and conducted research regarding systemic racism and health equity.

Rachel Niyonzigira is a registered nurse and licensed nursing home administrator who is pursuing her doctorate in health systems executive leadership at the University of Pittsburgh. She is working this summer specifically on the Revisiting the Teaching Nursing Home project. Niyonzigira has been an intern with JHF since September 2021.

Lauren Paine, a West Virginia native, is passionate about promoting policies that improve equity, and she has joined JHF this summer to support patient safety initiatives. She is in an accelerated program at the University of Pittsburgh pursuing a bachelor's degree in the history and philosophy of science and an MPH in health policy and management. Paine is also participating in the JHF Patient Safety Fellowship this summer.

Luna Plaza graduated this year from Pittsburgh CAPA. She has been active as a leader with the PA Youth Advocacy Group since 2021, and she will be supporting teen mental health initiatives this summer.

Arin Ruhl is a recent graduate of Chatham University with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and a women's leadership certificate. Ruhl is supporting communications at JHF this summer and looking forward to gaining experience working in the nonprofit sector. 

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