June 22, 2021
Katie Hughes, a rising senior at Haverford College, has joined HCIF’s Clinical Improvement team to serve as the Healthcare Quality Data Analyst Intern through the Whitehead Internship Program. Katie is a Political Science major who has declared a minor in Educational Studies and is pursuing her teaching certification in Secondary Social Studies. Her previous internship was spent as classroom teaching assistant with Philadelphia Futures, an organization that seeks to promote college access and completion for low-income, first-generation students in Philadelphia.
With academic and personal interest in health equity and non-profit administration, Katie comes to HCIF excited to learn more about clinical improvement and the ways in which many stakeholders can collaborate to reach effective solutions. Within Clinical Improvement at HCIF, Katie will be supporting the PURC Collaborative, the Health Equity Data Strategy Collaborative (HEDS), and other projects under the Partnership for Patient Care. She is eager to hone her skills in research, data analysis, written communication and project coordination.
April 23, 2021
Valentina Moreno joined HCIF in May 2020 as a Whitehead intern through Haverford College. After completing her Whitehead internship last summer, she continued working with HCIF as a Health Care Quality Intern and has played an integral role in providing support for several HCIF programs including PURC, OLAN, and PPC. As her internship comes to an end, HCIF would like to extend a sincere thanks to Valentina for her hard work and commitment and wishes her success in all her future endeavors!
There are few words
capable of capturing the depth of gratitude I feel towards HCIF. I began my
internship right as the world seemed to shift off kilter. On the heels of
crushed expectations, fear, and confusion I began my position as an intern at
HCIF. Somehow the uncertainty of the world felt subdued as I joined daily
meetings with the amazing individuals that make up the organization. The clumsiness
of a world trying to respond to an unprecedented pandemic was mediated by a
group of dedicated individuals that continued to devote themselves entirely to
their work. As a college student looking for my entry point into a career in
health care, I was given free rein to pick the minds of staff with a diverse
set of personal and professional backgrounds. To this day, I continue to be in
awe of the skill and vigor with which everyone at HCIF approaches their
During my time at HCIF I
worked primarily on PURC, OLAN, the Safety Award, and HEDS. While every project
has been fulfilling in its own right, I will most miss the excited calls that
took place as part of the OLAN in preparation for regional meetings. There
truly is something to be said about calls in which people can’t help but cut each
other off in the sheer excitement of opportunities to improve patient care. I
have observed passion like no other in this project from individuals who have
given their lives to fight stigma and care for patients who deserve the highest
health standards. The research I conducted to build out the resources and tools
page for the project was rigorous, intellectually stimulating, and
hope-inducing. In addition to my work with the OLAN team, I am
particularly grateful for the opportunity to be on the HEDS team. The
project, still in its nascent stages, is a welcome challenge. It has been
incredibly instructional to witness the beginnings of a project firmly rooted
in a vision for health equity. The project is timely and directly responsive to
the local need for standardizing the collection of ReAL data. This project has
inspired brainstorming in its most authentic forms — it has been completely
and utterly thrilling to have autonomy as a team to decide the future scope of
Beyond an exciting work
environment and fulfilling work, however, what I will truly miss most about
HCIF is the deep sense of community. It is hard to believe the connections I
have made at HCIF were forged in an entirely remote setting. During my
internship I moved from the US to London to Turkey and back and still somehow
feel incredibly close to the Philly based organization. It is hard now to
imagine what it will be like to not be on routine calls with familiar faces.
While I have been working at HCIF just under a year it feels much longer–the
growth I have experienced in this position is unparalleled. A year later things
feel hopeful, and the world seems to be shifting back into kilter –despite the
future still being ripe with uncertainty. HCIF has been a constant for me
through the difficulty of this past year and for that it will forever have a
place in my heart both professionally and personally.
HCIF has given me the confidence to continue exploring my place in health care. I am concluding my time at HCIF to join Penn Hospital as a student data analyst with the Infection Control Department. While it is with great sadness that I leave HCIF it is also with great gratitude and excitement for what the future holds.
August 28, 2020
Somehow in the midst of
an unprecedented global pandemic and a border-transcending civil movement, HCIF
managed to make my summer experience incredibly fulfilling. I am overwhelmed
with gratitude for an organization that adopted me as soon as I got on my first
zoom call. The pandemic forced me to move to the UK at the start of the summer
where I worked remotely for the majority of my internship. I was separated from
my coworkers in a very literal geographic sense and distanced by my drastic
time zone difference. Nevertheless, I have never encountered a more welcoming
and inspiring group of individuals. If HCIF has taught me anything, it is that
there is no need to compromise on what you value in a job. I never had to
sacrifice mission and social justice for intellectual rigor and I never
had to give up my own mental health and happiness to do well at my job.
Essentially, I learned that even as an intern who has yet to graduate, I have
access to incredible opportunities. To any future Whitehead applicant, I guarantee
that an internship at HCIF (even a remote one) will result in unparalleled
personal and professional growth.
Prefacing a more detailed account of my time at HCIF, I want to begin by acknowledging the exceptional mentorship of Claudette Fonshell. Claudette is in charge of overseeing Whitehead interns, she continuously made me feel included, comfortable, and challenged by the work I was assigned. I never felt lost or overwhelmed during my internship in large part due to her sustained attention and her careful supervision. Claudette was not alone in her efforts to make my internship experience meaningful; every member of the HCIF staff showed me kindness and attentiveness. The organization’s size is incredibly conducive to a friendly and collaborative work environment. Over the past couple of months, I have had the immense privilege of getting to know every member of HCIF. At the start of my internship, I had one on one meetings with all staff members; these meetings were invaluable both personally and professionally. As a member of the Clinical Improvement team within HCIF working specifically with the Pennsylvania Urologic Regional Collaborative (PURC) and the Opioid Learning Action Network (LAN), the meetings gave me an opportunity to learn more about the Population Health Team. In addition to gaining insight on the work HCIF oversees, I gained insight on the many diverse career paths possible for individuals working in public health. Every staff member I interacted with had an interesting and unique professional background.
I recognize that my time
at HCIF was and is by nature incredibly unconventional. I joined the
organization as it transitioned both in leadership and in operation. I
witnessed first-hand how the non-profit gracefully shifted from an in-person
setting to a fully remote environment. The Opioid Learning Network Action
embodies the swift transition HCIF made when forced to operate remotely.
Meetings that were formerly in-person shifted to webinars and virtual office
hours. Additionally, HCIF recognized the immensity of COVID-19 and adjusted
programming accordingly. Instead of operating in spite of the pandemic, HCIF
worked closely with partnering practices to address the pandemic
gracefully not only to COVID-19 but also to the civil unrest that ravaged the
country. I feel unbelievably lucky to be part of a conscientious organization
that commits itself to advancing equity and social justice. During my
internship, I joined the Anti-Racism Council (ARC) that formed as a result of
the Black Lives Matter movement. The council dedicates itself to initiatives
that actively combat racism– whether they be through language and education or
through critical self-evaluation. Despite the heartbreaking racial injustices that
have come to the fore this summer, this group of mission-driven individuals has
restored some of my faith in institutional change. I am comforted by the
knowledge that beyond my internship there is a team of passionate individuals
working tirelessly to promote equity.
To summarize, I could
not be more grateful for my Whitehead internship. I have had an, exciting,
intellectually stimulating, challenging, and rewarding summer experience.
June 15, 2020
Valentina Moreno, a rising junior at Haverford College, has joined HCIF’s Clinical Improvement team to serve as the Summer Data & Research Intern. Valentina is an Economics major who has declared a double minor in Health Studies and English. Her last internship was spent as a teacher at a Woman’s Empowerment Centre in rural Morocco. It was in Morocco that Valentina discovered her passion for public health. In the midst of stark inequality and blatant injustices, she became determined to advocate for equity and justice in health care access and quality. This determination led her to HCIF where she joins a team of mission-oriented individuals that work towards clinical improvement and population health. At HCIF, Valentina joins the clinical improvement team where she will work on several concurrent projects. Specifically, she will assist with the PURC collaborative, the Opioid Learning Action Network (LAN) project, and the Partnership for Patient Care’s Patient Safety & Quality Award program. Additionally, she will work closely with HCIF’s marketing team to continue publicly celebrating the organization’s achievements. Through this internship, Valentina plans to leverage her interdisciplinary schooling by applying her education to the projects HCIF oversees; this internship is her opportunity to further develop her analytical skills in both data work and research. Valentina has enthusiastically joined HCIF in the hopes of finding her place in public health.