Other

Grantee Name

Health Career Connection, Inc.

Funding Area

Other

Publication Date

July 2019

Grant Amount

2017: $42,300
2018: $40,800

Grant Date:

April 2017–November 2017
April 2018–November 2018

In New York City, challenging and prestigious health care internships are often unpaid—hindering students who cannot afford to take unpaid opportunities from shaping their future educational and career trajectories and building meaningful professional networks.

Health Career Connection (HCC) is a nonprofit organization that provides undergraduate students from under-represented or disadvantaged backgrounds with paid internship placements in health care and public health organizations. The majority of students recruited by HCC are first-generation college students who come from low-income families and communities with limited resources to help them thrive in the workforce. Ultimately, HCC seeks to improve the health of populations by motivating and developing value-driven, capable, and diverse health care and public health leaders and professionals. In 2014, NYSHealth awarded HCC a grant to support five 10-week summer internship placements, including at the Foundation. The experience was exceptional for both the students and hosting organizations, which led NYSHealth to award HCC subsequent grants each year since to continue support for this initiative.

 Under the 2017 grant, HCC matched five students to organizations suited to their career interests: three internships at Healthy Neighborhoods Fund grantee organizations and two at an NYC Health + Hospital site in East Harlem.

Under the 2018 grant, HCC matched six students to organizations suited to their career interests: three internships at Healthy Neighborhoods Fund grantee organizations, one at an NYC Health + Hospital site in East Harlem, and one at NYSHealth.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • In 2017, placed students in internships at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene East Harlem District Public Health Office, Brownsville Partnership, and Metropolitan Hospital.
  • In 2018, placed students in internships at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene East Harlem Neighborhood Health Action Center, We Run Brownsville, Project EATS, Metropolitan Hospital, and NYSHealth.
  • Connected students to seminars, site visits, and mentors to help them explore career possibilities and gain a perspective on how health organizations operate.
  • Prepared students to choose a well-suited health career path and helped them develop important relationships for their professional growth.

With continued support from NYSHealth, HCC has consistently matched host organizations with stellar interns. Our interns have excelled post-internship; several have secured full-time positions in public health and health care as a result of the experience they gained during their HCC internships.

For example, one of the 2017 interns was hired to continue her summer internship projects part-time through the end of the year after the formal internship period ended. One of the 2018 interns who was hosted at the East Harlem Neighborhood Health Action Center was offered a paid full-time position after the HCC program ended.

Co-Funding and Additional Funds Leveraged: The Open Society Foundations has also supported HCC in New York City.