On Monday, June 18th, the Kaiser Permanente Northern Virginia Community Health team hosted a meet and greet for a new cohort of summer interns in Northern Virginia. While Kaiser Permanente hosts interns across the region in our administrative and medical offices each year, this year marks the first time we have hosted interns at our Northern Virginia medical office—and we could not have done it without our trusted community partners to create more opportunity for local students. This new program will provide 15 students with paid, full-time, hands-on internships in the Northern Virginia community this summer.
Our core partner in this program, Urban Alliance – Northern Virginia, is a youth development nonprofit that provides economically-disadvantaged young people with access to the exposure, opportunity, support, and training needed to prepare them for lifelong economic self-sufficiency. Urban Alliance interns are a mix of newly graduated high school seniors and five alumni of their high school program, and these internships will give them a first-hand view into potential career paths that they may not otherwise get. Importantly, it does so before they’ve decided their post-high school plans, which means they can adjust those plans based on what they learn. Urban Alliance has placed nearly 5,000 interns nationwide, including more than 4,000 in our region (in Baltimore, DC, and Northern Virginia).
As with other internship programs, Kaiser Permanente is committed to building not only the workforce of tomorrow but also ensuring we identify and address the key social determinants of health for all individuals in the communities that we live in and serve. This includes providing opportunities to increase access to academic success and economic opportunity.
Recognizing the value of this experience, our Northern Virginia Community Health team decided to not only host interns within our Northern Virginia facilities but to work with our trusted community partners to do so. This not only provides more internship positions; it increases the likelihood that an individual intern will be able to spend his or her internship in an industry of interest.
The partner organizations who are hosting interns this summer represent several industries including health care, dental care, housing, pharmacy, data analytics, and policy. They are:
- The Child and Family Network Centers
- Northern Virginia Family Service
- NOVA Scripts Central
- Neighborhood Health
- Wesley Housing
- Medical Care for Children Partnership
- National Minority Quality Forum
- George Mason University MAP Clinic
Monday’s event provided a chance for interns to meet the leaders of their host organizations and each other for the first time, as well as several Kaiser Permanente Community Health, Marketing and Sales, and clinical leaders.
The Northern Virginia Community Health team is excited about this new internship program and the many future opportunities ahead.