Welcoming Back Liftoff PGH Intern Kaitlin Roderick
We are pleased to welcome back Kaitlin Roderick, a returning intern who worked with Liftoff PGH last year. Kaitlin is entering her final semester at Carnegie Mellon University, where she is pursuing a Master of Health Care Policy and Management degree. Previously Kaitlin interned with Allegheny Health Network, where she worked as a student health coach to support seniors with chronic illness.
"I've always had an interest in aging and helping the senior population, and JHF let me explore that interest," Kaitlin says. Starting in June, Kaitlin collaborated with the JHF aging team and Liftoff team to coordinate an end-of-life workshop for the December 2020 virtual conference. Sponsored by the McElhattan Foundation, the workshop explored innovations in palliative care and hospice.
These areas are familiar to Kaitlin, who has volunteered with nursing homes and hospice organizations since middle school. Her drive to find innovative solutions in aging carried through her college career at Washington & Jefferson College and then on to CMU, where she first heard of JHF. Reflecting on her intern experience so far, Kaitlin expressed high value of the Foundation's commitment to education across the spectrum of healthcare. "If there's one thing I learned from this, it's to keep learning."
Kaitlin's Liftoff PGH internship broadened her view of Pittsburgh's potential for healthcare innovation. As an intern, she supported the Liftoff PGH Generation Fempreneur sessions, a collaboration with the Pittsburgh Technology Council's Business as Usual webinar series that highlighted Pittsburgh's up-and-coming women+ health innovators. Kaitlin said learning about the region's growing health innovation ecosystem gave her "a lot of hope and excitement towards my future career."
As she rejoins the Liftoff PGH team, Kaitlin is excited to develop a health innovation program that will do the same for younger students. Kaitlin is enthusiastic about what she and other young innovators can bring to the field. "A lot of new people are coming in with new ideas, a new mindset really, for what healthcare can be for everybody… My generation is very open-minded, and we're ready to explore new things."