Marketing and Fundrasing + Community Health by Cameron Rolland

cameronThis summer, I am interning with Neighborhood Family Practice, a network of community health centers that provides high quality, affordable healthcare to over 18,000 patients on greater Cleveland’s west side. Many of whom are refugees, low-income and or underserved. My role for the summer is a Marketing and Fund Development intern for the fundraising department. There are several special projects that I am working on. One includes planning Neighborhood Family Practice’s annual fundraising event. I am responsible for garnering sponsorships and silent auction items from local businesses to support operating costs for the fundraiser as well as to support the operation of the health centers. I am spearheading social media and email promotion for the fundraiser to yield a greater attendance outcome for the event this year. In addition to this, I am working on a donor research expansion project in which I am collecting personal information about current and prospective donors to foster a stronger relationship with them. This way, the network isn’t just asking for money from these individuals and businesses, but they have an idea of their backgrounds which cultivates genuine conversation and builds stronger relationships. For the later part of my internship, I will be conducting research to identify entities in which Neighborhood Family Practice can submit grants to for funding. Grant proposals are essential for sustainability since the organization is a non profit entity. 

I was hired by Neighborhood Family Practice for the summer through the Cleveland Foundation’s summer internship program. The Cleveland Foundation is a charitable organization that supports local businesses in the Cleveland area to promote a healthier Cleveland. The foundation selected twenty three students to be placed at non profit organizations in the area for the summer. Each Wednesday, all of the interns participate in a professional development day in which either one intern or a pair of interns is responsible for planning a morning of events that introduces their respective organizations to the rest of the intern cohort. Therefore, I will be responsible for partnering with another intern and the two of us will be introducing our organizations to the rest of the cohort later this summer.

Thus far, this has been a positive experience for me. I like the fact that I am tasked with relevant duties and that I am not being micromanaged at my workplace. I feel like an actual employee instead of someone’s coffee runner. I also like the fact that I am able to intern for an organization whose mission and values resonate with me. My career objective is to own and operate a community health center that provides high quality, affordable care to the underserved which is the mirror image of what Neighborhood Family Practice does. I am grateful to have the opportunity to work for such an organization. I look forward to updating everyone about my internship experience later this summer!

The Phlembotomist and Lab Tech by Derrick Arthur-Cudjoe

derrickI walked towards the room, checked my pending list and crossed out every name but one. “He cannot talk. Are you the doctor?” Those were not the words I expected as I rolled the curtains and greeted my last patient for the day. I took a deep breath, smiled gently and said “No ma’am, I am Derrick from the lab and I am here to draw some blood. How are you today?” This was not the first time I was involved in such an encounter with a patient’s wife or relative I could see his chest movements and I checked for his pulse as I scanned his arm band. I have always been careful while performing venipuncture. However, extra care and attention is required when performing venipuncture on a nonresponsive patient as they could not move or talk even if they felt pain.

Back in the laboratory, I got on the computer to type in my patients’ notes. However, there was one question that kept lingering in my mind. “What is life?” This summer, I have been working as a Phlebotomist and an Assistant Laboratory Technician at the INOVA Mt. Vernon Hospital, Alexandria. My duties include performing proper specimen collection by utilizing venipuncture techniques on both outpatients and inpatients while engaging and responding to staff and patients via phone, email and in-person. I also manage specimen accessioning for laboratory testing. My work at the hospital has taught me a lot about people and endowed me with skills that I may never have learned in the classroom. There were a few times when some people either doubted or undermined my abilities by virtue of my race or young looking appearance. However, those incidents did not deter me from serving or performing my tasks. Instead, they have deepened my appreciation for the breadth of diversity that surrounds society and helped me learn ways to make people feel comfortable despite their demographics or preference. The many patients I come across on a daily basis have also incited the need to practice self-care and make sure my parents do same.

As I walk towards the break room to clock out, I take a sigh of relief, gulp down my last bottle of water and remember I have to go study for my lecture exam tomorrow. That notwithstanding, as the lead photographer, I am yet to prepare my company’s contract for an event scheduled later this month. Yes, I am taking classes and working two jobs this summer. Maybe I can tell you more about those in my next post. Until then, enjoy the rest of your summer and practice self-care!

Summer Adventures in Learning and Teaching by Nicole Gray

nicoleAfter my finishing up my first year at Georgetown University, I am excited to announce that I am officially a sophomore! Each day I fall more in love with the university’s community of people who support me and with the opportunities I am afforded as a Hoya. 

I started this summer by taking a Pre-session Calculus class on our campus. While it was intense to learn an entire semester’s worth of material in less than 19 classes, I personally got a lot out of the experience. Taking a class from mid-May to mid-June allowed me to capitalize on the time after the end of classes and graduation but before my other summer commitments began. I honestly feel that taking this class in a condensed time-period really kept me in a motivated frame-of-mind with a small group of similarly driven peers. 

The rest of this summer I’ll be found splitting my time among a full-time job teaching science lessons at a summer camp for children ages 5-11 in northern Virginia, volunteering as an Emergency Medical Technician with Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service (GERMS), and teaching basic EMS skills to high schoolers in a youth program with the Alexandria Fire Department.

I have always known that I want to work with children in my career later on, so I’m looking forward to using some of my time this summer developing lesson plans and engaging activities to practice how to best communicate with young people. My passion for the sciences definitely began very early-on and I am so excited to hopefully instill my love of inquiry and learning about the science of everyday life in my campers who come from all different backgrounds. My lessons will span topics from plant growth, how animals adapt to their environments, basic chemistry, and even simple lessons on health, human biology, and body systems. It has been such a fun challenge to transpose and adapt the lessons and demonstrations I was exposed to in high school and my first year of college to be fun and relevant for these children– some of whom have yet to begin kindergarten! 

This is not my first time teaching, and every time I do something like this I am reminded of how much time, energy, and effort it takes to prepare lessons and demonstrations that will work perfectly when the time comes to show them. I find it to be kind of like preparing a magic trick where everything needs to be perfectly proportioned, timed, and explained in order to supply my students with the right effect and sustain their interest so that they will remain engaged and asking questions. I have found, developed, and practiced so many kid-friendly experiments that some evenings my “lab” is almost unrecognizable as the kitchen it was just hours prior!

While a lot of my time thus far has been dedicated to my class and to preparing science lessons, I am no less excited about my other major commitment for this summer which is to volunteer as an EMT in Georgetown with our student-run EMS crew. I have been riding-along in ambulances and assisting my city’s paramedics since I was in high-school, but now that I officially have my EMT certification I can finally lead calls on my own and make final pre-hospital patient-care decisions! I am definitely excited by the prospect of all of this added responsibility but I am confident that my more-experienced crew-members, mentors, and medical directors will be by my side as I continue to hone my skills grow in my passion for emergency medicine.

I am thrilled to see where these adventures in teaching and in emergency care will take me this summer and I look forward to sharing more with you as the summer progresses!

Wish me luck!

Nicole A. “Nicki” Gray

A New Angle of Health by Khalida Saalim

This summer I was given the chance to work for 10 weeks at Johns Hopkins University Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Cancer in Dr. Tian-Li Wang’s Molecular Genetics Laboratory of Female Reproductive Cancer as part of Johns Hopkins’ Health Careers Opportunity Program. Even though I am not pre-med and I am a Global Health major, I decided to apply and accept my offer for this program because I wanted an insight into differing career paths in order to better focus my interests and confirm my plans for the future. Last year, I interned as a communications coordinator of a public health organization in Philadelphia, so this year I am able to see new angles of the health field. This internship has already been extremely eye-opening to me, as it is my first time working in a lab, besides the informal labs of AP biology in high school. I don’t know much about the processes of working in a lab and about the complexities of cancer research, but I have already learned so much after these few weeks. I specifically chose to work in this lab because although it is completely different than Public Health, it still relates to one of my main focuses, which is women’s health. Before coming to Georgetown, I knew that I wanted to direct my studies towards improving the health of women. So, it is great to still work on women’s health even if it’s in a different field. During these 10 weeks, I will work as a lab assistant while developing an independent project on which I will present in July. One characteristic that I have is that I love to challenge myself and expose myself to new things, and I know this internship will do just that.

I also enjoy being part of this program because it allows me to understand more about the health field. Every week, we are required to attend the presentations of various speakers of minority backgrounds who have pursued a career in health. These speakers are very diverse: some have gotten their medical degree, some their Ph.D., some a masters degree in Public Health, which means they can all contribute advice on what to do, where to go, and what steps to take after I receive my undergraduate degree. With junior year coming up, this is the right time to decide on graduate school plans.

Lastly, this internship has really proven my independence and has helped me become more prepared for the future in ways besides just my career. I live in a house, pay my own rent, cook for myself, and commute to work every day. Overall, I am really glad that I chose to apply to this internship and I am excited for the rest of this summer

Global Health on the Hilltop by Layla Abdi

Hello everyone! It has been remarkable to me how quickly the summer has been moving since my freshman year at Georgetown ended. Second semester moved by super quickly and overall, I grew so much both academically and personally in my first year and I hope to carry on my experiences during my sophomore year!

This summer, I immediately started working for Georgetown’s newly launched Global Health Initiative as a summer communications intern. I really enjoy my job, but I would definitely recommend that you take a bit of time off after school ends, because finals are exhausting!

Georgetown’s Global Health Initiative was created to bridge all the different areas of global health work going on in the University. As a global health major in the NHS, I was surprised to find out just how much Global Health research and projects go on here, and how diverse the roles and perspectives of the people doing this valuable work are. The college has the biology of Global Health, the SFS has Science, Technology, and International Affairs, which can also have a global health focus. Even the law school has a program to study Global Health Law. It is truly a field of work that has people come from all sorts of backgrounds, which is necessary to address some of the critical health concerns the world faces.

My main work has been interviewing and writing profiles of faculty that are doing work in global health. It has been a wonderful experience to get to know so many different people across campus, and to hear their perspectives on how they came into Global Health and the kind of projects they design. A common question that I ask the faculty I interview is what advice they would give students going into Global Health. While the responses are varied, there is a common theme that global health if quickly changing and growing, and it’s cool to know that there are many opportunities out there! This work experience has also reminded me a lot about the MHIC because so much of global health is intersectional with minority health and health disparities overall. As a premed student and someone who has loved studying global health, it is wonderful to see the connections between what I learn in the classroom and my work and extracurricular experiences.

I’m hoping to go to some events for GHI soon, so I’m excited to see where the rest of the summer will take me! Other than that, I’m applying for volunteer jobs so hopefully I will have lots more to share!

Fun and Focus in Camden by Shalaya Lopez

shalayaAren’t things supposed to slow down in the summer? I always thought so, but that hasn’t been the case for me at all this summer ’17. After a sophomore year filled with academic triumphs and out-of-this-world experiences (somewhat literally–I went overseas for the first time!), I thought a summer spent in my hometown wouldn’t be able to compete with the thrills of the previous few months. Thankfully, I was wrong, and I have had the perfect balance of fun and focus, 65 and 35 percent, respectively. Day trips to Philly, family gatherings, and cultural festivals–the fun. Population health research, exercising, and perfecting my smoothies and lemon-grilled chicken salads–the focus.

Although I’ve finally adjusted to my new normal, things are in the process of changing at a fairly quick rate. The first week of my internship with the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers is already over, and I’m beginning to remember just how tricky balancing one’s time can be. While I’m excited to interact with and learn from the Coalition’s staff and my fellow Service Learners (medical, graduate, and undergrad students alike), it is bittersweet to know that having this opportunity means missing out some high school graduations and school plays. Nonetheless, I am eager to obtain an in-depth understanding of the Coalition’s innovative solutions to Camden residents most pressing health issues, and for my real work to begin as I engage with those same patients in primary care settings.

Just as I hope to make meaningful contributions to the Coalition, I hope I can continue to implement healthy foods and lifestyle habits into my own life. Until next time!

Med School Prep by Taylor Franklin

Hey Everyone! Welcome to the first part of my Summer. So far, it has been quite a rollercoaster, but I am adjusting well:) Originally, I had planned to stay at Georgetown the first half to take my Kaplan MCAT course and work at Yates Field House. However, the day before my course was scheduled to start, it was cancelled due to a lack of enrollment! I freaked out because my summer plans were set in stone. Three days after finals, I start my MCAT course, one week after that ends, I begin physics II, and two weeks after that I take my MCAT. There was absolutely no room for me to change anything with such a packed schedule. However, I had to strategize. I knew I wanted to put my all into the MCAT and knock it out this summer. But, the only course that was offered overlapped with physics. I then realized I would not be able to take such fast-paced and high intensity courses at the same time and perform my best. So, I decided to take physics later and focus only on the MCAT now. Although I was thrown off kilter, I believe this schedule will be better for my overall success. With all of this being said, I learned a valuable lesson. It is important to be flexible and understand that things may not always work out as planned. You must always be able to handle what is thrown your way. List out possible scenarios and weigh all your options. Most importantly, ask for help! There are so many people who are willing to help you and want to see you succeed, so use that opportunity. You don’t have to make tough decisions alone!

I’m sure you may be interested in hearing about this MCAT course. I actually just began this week, and I really like the instructor. He is very interactive and energetic which helps make the 3-hour class go by quickly! In terms of the MCAT itself, there is a lot of outside work involved and it’s not too exciting, but I have to keep my eye on the prize and remember why I am taking this 7+ hour exam. I want to become the best physician I can be in order to work in underserved communities and to also serve as an example for other underrepresented minorities in medicine. In addition to the MCAT course, I am conducting public health research with Dr. Debbie Barrington. We are currently working on a literature review regarding Doctor-Patient racial concordance and health outcomes, and we hope to submit the review for publication by the end of the summer. This literature review will also serve as a resource for my senior thesis. Lastly, besides all the academic things, I still make time for self-care. I make sure to go to the gym 4-5 times a week and take a day out of the week to completely relax and spend with my friends/family. I’ve learned that setting aside time to do things I like helps keep me motivated and prevents me from burning out. It may be hard to find the time for work and play, but if you make a strict schedule and stick to it, it’s possible. Anyways, thanks for reading and I’ll see you all again in August!

The Pursuit of Medicine by Vanessa Lim

bioethicsAfter coming back to New York from an amazing National Parks trip I had with my mom and lounging on the coach for a few days, I was ready (well not exactly 100%) to get back to the grind in D.C. This summer, I’m staying at Georgetown to take some summer classes, doing some lab work, and shadowing a doctor. I know I know… It sounds like a mouthful for a typical pre-med student. But honestly, I’m actually pretty excited.

For the first session, I am taking Bioethics. Although I have to sit in class for 2 hours and 4 times a week, I’m never bored! It is such an interesting class and I highly recommend it if anyone wants to take an upper level ethics course. A lot of our topics deal with the ethics behind a physician and patient relationship. These ethical choices can make a huge impact on the quality of care that a physician delivers. As I am reading through various cases, I am solidifying my own values in medicine and learning how my beliefs impact the decisions I make to serve my future patients.

After class, I shadow Dr. Aruna Nathan, an internal medicine primary care doctor. I’ve only met with her twice so far, and I can honestly say that she is one of the sweetest physicians I’ve ever met. In my last shadowing session, I was able to sit down and have a casual conversation with her because her last appointment ended early. I told her about my interest in Mental Health and took note that a lot of her patients were prescribed with anti-anxiety medications. Dr. Nathan explained that patients who do have health problems typically have underlying mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. Mental Health issues are responsible for unhealthy lifestyles such as having a poor diet or lacking physical exercise.

On days I don’t shadow, I head to the Cognitive Recovery Lab and work on lesion tracings on MRI scans. I’ve worked for this lab this past year and I am happy to return for the summer. The people here are incredibly nice and always willing to help me with new tasks. I am hoping to learn more about stroke rehabilitation and new lab techniques that analyze brain anatomy linked to cognitive functions. I am curious to see how brain plasticity can affect mental illnesses and how examining neuroanatomy can lead to a better understanding of certain conditions.

Shadowing, research, and pre-med classes do not mean anything when you don’t know why you are pursuing these things. By the end of this summer, I am hoping I can find my own story in why I want to pursue medicine. What in medicine captivates me? How can I pursue medicine in a way that best serves others? Where do I see myself in the future as a doctor? Let’s see how this all goes… Till next time!

Wrapping Up Summer ’16 By Taylor Franklin

Hi everyone!

It’s so great to be talking to you all again and telling you about the second half of my summer. Last time you heard from me, I was preparing for my physics finals. It turns out I did very well and all my hard work paid off!

Fast forwarding to two weeks post-finals, I moved into Copley Hall to begin my weeklong training as an RA for the Community Scholars Program. This is a 5-week program for first-generation college students of color to help build community and take classes to prepare them for entering Georgetown in the fall. Students are also given access to resources and do cool things from visiting the White House and Capitol Hill to spending a day at six Flags. Through this program, I was able to build meaningful relationships and serve as a mentor to students from a similar background as myself. I have learned about myself as an individual, but most importantly I have been able to encourage students and help some get through challenges in their lives in order to thrive academically, socially and mentally.

In addition to mentoring, I worked in a cancer research lab in the med school’s Basic Science building and shadowed a reproductive endocrinologist (infertility Doctor). In the research lab, I have been culturing primary cancer cells from Ewing Sarcoma. Ewing Sarcoma is a malignant tumor that begins in the bones and soft tissue of children and adolescents. During shadowing, I was able to witness the first step of in-vitro fertilization in which fluid is extracted from the follicles in the ovaries in order to obtain eggs. I was also able to see insemination in which the sperm was placed into a petri dish with the egg and then placed in an incubator. Both experiences were wonderful exposure into the field of medicine and I plan on continuing research and shadowing during the school year. Overall, I have had a wonderful summer and can’t wait to meet you in the fall!


A Bittersweet August By Khalida Saalim

It is only the beginning of August, so I still have a few more weeks left until move-in day, and as of now, I am still working at my communications internship at the National Health Corps up until August 19th. I am really glad that I have had this internship opportunity because it has given me a ton of experience in the office setting: updating websites, posting on social media pages, entering in data, a bunch of reviewing and editing documents, and I even got a chance to host a conference call with staff from all over the country and talk to them about changes that have been made in our new communications manual that I helped to finalize. I was even able to learn a little about public health issues in the city. khalida

At one all staff meeting I was able to attend, we discussed the importance of home and family life in a child’s health and well-being. We were reminded of why it is necessary to reduce childhood trauma, starting from the home. Our staff informed us of some new programs that they had just launched to provide child-parent psychotherapy to families in the child welfare systems and families who have been affected by substance use disorders, which immediately caught my attention. Making a positive impact in a child’s life, I think is the thing that really draws me into being an International Health major. Unfortunately, this job was mostly an office job so I was unable to make any direct impact, but this drives me to try to do just that when I am in D.C., as a part of MHIC or even as a volunteer.

Overall, my time at this internship was truly like a roller coaster ride .There were lots of times where I had so much work on my plate, and other times where I had absolutely nothing to do. Sometimes I was excited to get to work so I could finally finish a task that was given to me, and other times I really just wanted to stay home…but I adapted to any situation and learned how to endure and to manage my time and workload well.

On a completely different note, I also accomplished one of the goals that I had set for myself this summer: to get my license. It may seem like no big deal to a lot of people, but I have always had a big fear of driving, mostly because my mother doesn’t drive, so I had adopted her same fear of driving. Finally, after putting it off for 2 years, I finally started driving with my dad again and then he made the decision to sign me up for a few driving classes with an instructor, and a few weeks later, I finally just went in for the test and passed. So now, I just have to make sure that I don’t get discouraged and continue to practice driving so I don’t forget

To finish off, August is always such a bittersweet month. I have so many emotions and so much anxiety about move-in day. I know I will be very sad to leave Philadelphia because I will miss my family and all of my friends, but I am excited to start my sophomore year and I know I will enjoy spending time with my group of friends there in D.C. And as for the rest of this month, I plan to finish up my internship and really just cherish the time I have left here in Philly and prepare myself for my next year at Georgetown University. HOYA SAXA!