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In Focus

Catching Up With the Independence Blue Cross Foundation Summer Interns

By August 24, 2017September 5th, 2017News

From left to right: Independence Blue Cross Foundation summer interns Darren Laws, Jr., Taylor Sneed, Fiona Bradley.

After another great summer with the Independence Blue Cross Foundation summer interns, it’s time to say goodbye. I caught up with a few of them to learn what they accomplished this summer and what they’ll take back to school, or, for our recent grads, into the community. Thank you again for your great work!

Fiona Bradley

Tell me a little bit about yourself and why you chose this internship:
“This is my fourth summer as an intern with the Foundation. I just graduated from Penn State with a degree in Health Policy and Administration. Health care has always been an interest of mine — I’ve always wanted to help people stay healthy. I considered the medical field, but realized that I am drawn to the business side of the industry.”

What have you worked on this summer?
“This summer I’ve worked on projects relating to the Foundation’s Blue Safety Net program, including analyzing interim reports and grant applications, researching Federally Qualified Health Center funding, and reviewing a data brief. I’ve also worked on the redesign of the Building Healthier Communities program, and supported many Foundation events. I also was able to participate in professional development opportunities offered by the Foundation and Independence Blue Cross.”

What will you take away from this internship?
“I’ve learned so much from this internship, such as understanding grant processes and the strategy behind funding decisions — a lot of people don’t realize what goes on behind the scenes. But I think I will benefit the most from my new understanding of public health principles. It’s so important to have a basic comprehension of social determinants of health, if you are going to work in any aspect of health care.”

What is your favorite thing you’ve done this summer with the Foundation?
“I love going on site visits to the health centers and seeing the work in action. Also the team-building event at the Blue Cross River Rink was fun!”

Darren Laws, Jr.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and why you chose this internship:
“I just graduated from Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast High School, and will be attending Widener University in the fall. I’m planning on majoring in Business Management — I’m so excited. This internship was part of an opportunity offered through the R.W. Sorrell Scholarship I was awarded.”

What have you worked on this summer?
“This summer I’ve been able to attend various meetings with the Foundation team. I’ve been on calls for planning a CPR awareness event with the Philadelphia Union, attended meetings about program redesign for Building Healthier Communities, and more. I’ve been working on reviewing health center websites for the Blue Safety Net program, and whatever else is needed!”

What will you take away from this internship?
“I’ve learned a lot about how a corporate office works and how to make a good impression. Like bringing a notebook to meetings, asking questions, taking advice well. I take a lot of notes — it’s really valuable to listen to the discussions that happen. I’ve also learned how to multitask better, which will be very useful going forward.”

What is your favorite thing you’ve done this summer with the Foundation?
“I really like the roller skating activity that we did for team-building down at the River Rink!”

Taylor Sneed

Tell me a little bit about yourself and why you chose this internship:
“I am a senior nursing major at Widener University. I’m graduating in May of 2018. I knew about the Foundation from the work they do in the region, and my mentor at school encouraged me to apply for the nurse intern position this summer.”

What have you worked on this summer?
“This summer I supported the Foundation’s Bolstering the Health Care Workforce program by working on the Leadership Labs for the Nursing Internship Program, grant administration, and event coordination. I also completed a research project on the diversity disparity in nursing and presented it to the team.”

What will you take away from this internship?
“I learned about different aspects of health care, and about the work it takes to develop and fund programs and projects related to the health care workforce. I also learned about professionalism in an office setting.”

What is your favorite thing you’ve done this summer with the Foundation?
“I really like creating the nurse mentor bios for the mentorship component of the Nursing Internship Program. It was interesting to learn about other nurses, their perspectives, and how they got to where they are.”

 

Heather Falck Major

As the first executive director of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation), Heather Falck Major is responsible for advancing the Foundation’s thought leadership and grantmaking to drive equity and impact health in communities across southeastern Pennsylvania. With nearly two decades of healthcare experience, first as an underwriter and more than ten years in corporate philanthropy, Heather has helped shape the strategy and programmatic direction of the Foundation since its launch.

Heather has day-to-day oversight of the Foundation’s grants administration, operations, and programmatic initiatives and the Foundation’s Institute for Health Equity, a $15 million commitment to advance health equity in our region and nation. She is responsible for Foundation communications, including managing editor and contributing author of its award-winning publications and is the host of the Foundation’s internationally reaching podcast, Someone You Know®. Heather is a member of the Corporate Engagement Advisory Committee at her alma mater, the Pennsylvania State University, and serves in advisory and committee roles for the PA Action Coalition and Urban Affairs Coalition. Heather is an inaugural member of the Leonard A. Lauder Community Care Nurse Practitioner Fellowship Advisory Board at University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and was recently appointed to the Board of Consults for the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing at Villanova University.

Heather resides in Philadelphia with her husband, son, and their Great Pyrenees dog.