FAIRFIELD — From information technology to rehabilitation to administration to outpatient surgery, summer interns graduated Friday from Kaiser Permanente’s Summer Youth Employment Program.
Also in attendance were family members and immediate supervisors of the interns.
“We had over 200 applications,” said Melanie Carpio-Williams, the administrator in charge of the two-month program. “Out of those applicants, we interviewed 35 and then selected the interns.”
Interns were placed within the various clerical, support areas of a typical hospital.
Akena Reyes, who was placed in one of the most-coveted positions within the program – labor/delivery and maternity – had a hands-on experience during her time within the program.
One day, Reyes was called into the delivery room to witness a Caesarean section, which she said “was like dissection.” Reyes said that the cauterizing of the cut was the most difficult.
“I passed out,” she recalled, causing those in attendance to laugh.
Conversely, Chelsea Harden found herself in the IT department; an area she said she wasn’t fond of at first.
“I didn’t know what I was getting myself into,” the future Sacramento State University student said.
Harden thanked the IT department for taking her in as family during her internship.
“She did a lot better than my tech,” said Richard Celeste, who supervised Harden’s work.
Other interns were Brenda Mendez, David Luckett, Kartik Mahida, Samantha Jones, Jalilah Smith, Kajanae Watson, Derrick James and Saira Uppal.
All the students received a certificate for completing the program. Nancy Hutchins from the Napa Toastmasters club also presented the interns with certificates for completing the special speaking portion of the program.
“Public speaking improves communication skills,” Hutchins said. “(Communication) is important between patients and doctors.”
Dr. Keedra McNeill, a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center, gave the keynote speech. McNeill praised the interns for doing something with their summers.
“Internships are the gateway to the next step in life and career,” McNeill said. ”Summers off should be summers on for your future.”
The summer program has been around since 1968.
“Many of our past 12,000 students over 30-plus years have selected a career path in one of the related fields of health care,” Carpio-Williams said.
Reach John Glidden at 427-6981 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter/glid24.