FORT LAUDERDALE — Medina Awada and Myrlande Etienne are two of 25 interns who spent the summer with Broward Health Community Health Services, getting an inside look at business operations along with valuable practical experience.
Rather than the stereotypical internship duties of answering phones and fetching coffee Awada and Etienne were given the opportunity to become an integral part of one of the largest public health systems in the country.
In 2000, Broward Health’s internship program was designed for students nearing completion of a bachelor’s degree or currently enrolled in a graduate program from an accredited college or university.
The program provides students with an opportunity to gain practical work experience that complements their academic studies while helping Broward Health fulfill its mission.
Awada and Etienne have officially joined the 13th class to graduate from the summer internship program, after developing knowledge and skill sets in a community health center setting at Broward Health’s Comprehensive Care Center and Specialty Care Center.
Awada, 22, a senior at the University of Central Florida studying health services administration, says her internship not only related to her career path, but also allowed her to get hands-on experience, especially during her time at the HIV Research Clinic.
“I was assigned the task of researching the clinical research process and policies for the department to assist staff. At the culmination of my internship, I created a process improvement plan for the operations,” she said.
Etienne, 26, who graduated from Florida International University this past spring, said “All of the skills obtained will be used in my intended career path.” With a career objective of becoming a healthcare manager, she had immediately doffed her FIU graduation cap for a business suit, and began interning at Broward Health, where she gained real-world experience while working on a customer service delivery process research project.
“The upcoming demands within the healthcare industry will need talent such as Awada and Etienne, who can add significant value to healthcare in an environment steeped with change,” says Arlene Campbell, site administrator of Broward Health’s Specialty Care Center.
“By earning practical work experience from some of the best and brightest in the healthcare industry and networking with potential future employers, each intern is developing themselves for future leadership roles in the industry.”
Since the program’s inception, said Broward Health CEO Frank Nask during the intern graduation, its main objective “has been to recruit and train highly qualified interns to create and sustain a talent pipeline of future employee partners for Broward Health.”
Awada said her internship more than fulfilled that goal. “Professionally, I have gained a lot of insight into how a public health institution operates. It prepared me for what to expect in my future as a healthcare administrator and what it takes to be a leader in the healthcare community.”
*Pictured above is from left, Arlene Campbell, and interns Myrlande Etienne and Medina Awada, with Claudette Grant and Jasmin Shirley.