Medical Home Network (MHN), a Chicago-based not for profit focused on transforming care in the safety net and building healthier communities, is teaming up with local nonprofits to provide internships and fellowships that help young adults from under-resourced communities gain work experience and land quality jobs after college.
The Francie Comer/MHN Summer Experience Scholarship matches students after their first year of college with professionals who introduce them to specific fields that include, but are not limited to science, technology, engineering and math. Through hands-on work experience and continuing mentorship, the community-based program extends scholars’ long-term professional development.
The first two Francie Comer/MHN scholars have begun their training this summer, and two more scholarships will be awarded each year for the next four years. Preference is given to students who are interested in healthcare and science fields.
The $5,000 stipend for each scholarship, funded by MHN, primarily helps students cover living expenses associated with the internship. After their scholarship summer concludes, professional partners will continue to mentor students to help increase their chances of finding employment after graduation.
Greg Mooney, President, Network for Young Adult Success, notes that only 14% of low-income students nationwide graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree.
“This type of scholarship is helping our young adults stay competitive with their peers,” Mooney said.
MHN President and CEO Cheryl Lulias said the scholarships and internships build on the company’s ties to the Chicago community and to Comer family philanthropy. MHN was created through a grant from the Comer Family Foundation in 2009 with the vision to transform healthcare delivery for people on Medicaid in Chicago’s south and southwest communities.
“The Comer Family Foundation has been dedicated to supporting innovative programs that make a positive impact on people and communities,” said Lulias. “This spirit is in our DNA, and through these programs we are continuing their legacy.”
The MHN/UtmostU Data Analytics Fellowship program is offered in partnership with the Comer Family Foundation and UtmostU, the signature program of the Network for Young Adult Success (NYAS). NYAS provides college persistence and workforce development services to help students obtain post-secondary degrees, jobs and financial independence, leading to a secure future.
The Fellowship program places post-secondary graduates in full-time, paid jobs at MHN. The immersive, yearlong program gives fellows experience with data analytics, healthcare data, health plan operations and programming.
“Students develop analytic and programming skills by partnering with a mentor and solving actual problems in the areas of population health, health plan operations, application development, and artificial intelligence,” said Vice President, Data Analytics at MHN, Todd Burkard.
The MHN/UtmostU program aims to introduce data analytics to a young adult population severely underrepresented in health informatics.
“The mission of UtmostU is about education and empowering young adults to earn degrees, attain credentials and fulfill their career aspirations, and by doing this we can change the economic equation for Chicago’s young people and the communities they represent,” Mooney said.
For more information on the internships or fellowships, contact David Bennett, Associate Executive Director at UtmostU, at firstname.lastname@example.org.