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Day Kimball Healthcare Summer Work Programs Gives Teens Real-Life Learning Experiences In Healthcare

September 16, 2009

(L-R) Gina Lopez, Ashley Bernier, Alyssa Perez and Hillary Kearney were interns at Day Kimball Hospital during the summer of 2009.


– More than 60 local students participated in summer work programs provided by Day Kimball Healthcare. Five of the students were interns who worked in various departments of Day Kimball Hospital as part of EASTCONN’s stimulus-funded Summer Youth Program. Another 57 students spent nearly 7,000 hours volunteering in Day Kimball Hospital’s 8-week Junior Volunteer Program from June to August. Day Kimball Healthcare strongly supports programs that

educate our future workforce on the variety of important employment opportunities available in healthcare. Offering real-life learning experiences is an investment in our youth.

Through the EASTCONN program designed by the Eastern CT Workforce, five students received school credit while interning for specific hospital departments. Ashley Bernier of Dayville worked in medical records, Alyssa Perez of Dayville worked in diagnostic services, Gina Lopez of Plainfield worked in the sleep lab/neurology department, Kerri Linzy of Plainfield worked in purchasing/materials management and Hillary Kearney of Dayville worked in physical medicine. Students assisted with clerical work and were able to immerse themselves in each of the departments assigned them.

Gina Lopez, sleep lab/neurology intern said, “This experience was fun and rewarding. I got to explore a lot of different healthcare professions during my time at Day Kimball and am looking to go into nursing.”

While interns worked within specific departments, the hospital’s junior volunteers performed foot-performing tasks such as transporting patients, supplies and specimens, as well as delivering mail, newspapers, flowers and cards to patient rooms. They also performed some clerical work as needed by various departments.

The Junior Volunteer Program averages 100 applications each spring and selects less than two-thirds based on guidance counselors’ recommendations and personal interviews. Local students are encouraged to apply for the program, which offers work and resume-building experience. Rebecca Daniels, junior volunteer coordinator, said, “The junior volunteer program is an important part of Day Kimball Hospital where students gain valuable work experience and the hospital is able to provide them with a first-hand account of how a healthcare facility functions on a daily basis. As always, this year’s junior volunteer group was ambitious, energetic and hard working.” Day Kimball Healthcare’s volunteer services department sends applications to area schools, libraries and community centers each January.

Junior volunteer Isabelle Balachandran plans to become a pediatric cardiologist and found her volunteer experience an important introduction to a healthcare environment. “I loved volunteering at Day Kimball, said Balachandran. “I’ve always been interested in helping people and supporting my community. I am passionate about science and saving lives, so this was a great experience for me.” Balachandran began school early and attended Boston University while completing nearly 200 hours at Day Kimball Hospital this summer. She was the only junior volunteer already in college.

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