Grand Valley State University (GVSU) has recognized Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC) as a 2019 Outstanding Internship Employer of the Year.
Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC) is a nonprofit organization, offering the most comprehensive, flexible, and secure portfolio of health information exchange solutions and services in Michigan. Healthcare providers and community organizations trust on GLHC to assure that they have access to essential clinical information at the point-of-care.
Building and sustaining a health information exchange network and several applications is both technologically complex and labor intensive. The skills required are unique to the industry and our organization, requiring specific and advanced training. To meet the needs of our current and future healthcare providers and organizations, GLHC partners with GVSU to engage students interested in careers in healthcare information technology.
Developing the Intern Program
The GVSU Career Center and Employer Relations Team assisted in designing an internship program that would benefit GLHC business interests, while also offering students a robust and practical work-life experience. In 2016, GVSU introduced GLHC to the Small Company Internship Award Program (SCIA), sponsored by the Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN). The program provides matching funds to help small businesses in hiring university students as interns. The program prioritizes Michigan businesses in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. GLHC was accepted as a SCIA participant in 2017 and in 2018. Being a participant helped GLHC establish the internship program and began the close relationship with GVSU.
Julie Klausing, GLHC Vice President of Product, Integration, and Operations, describes the internship program as a “win-win-win”.
“GVSU’s Career Center team, led by Troy Farley, are great to work with. They do a superb job of balancing their student’s interests with GLHC’s goals. The program allows our staff to accomplish more projects more quickly, assuring that our clients receive the high quality solutions they have come to expect in a timely manner.”
“Our interns learn practical professional skills that they can take with them into their careers. We are proud to say that 100% of students who have completed internships with GLHC have found placement in their chosen fields following graduation. In addition, the program affords us the opportunity to evaluate candidates on-the-job for recruiting into full-time positions within our own organization. Several of our current staff members began with us as interns”, Klausing said.
Internship Recognition Luncheon
To celebrate and express their gratitude to the employer community, the GVSU Career Center hosts an annual Internship Recognition Luncheon. This event celebrates the dedication of employer/supervisors, faculty/staff, and student interns to making internships such a prominent component to the Grand Valley educational experience. The Career Center bestows several awards, highlighting the accomplishments of students, supervisors, and employers. Among these awards is the “Outstanding Internship Employer of the Year”. A for-profit and a non-profit organization receive this award. Student interns nominate their employer for these awards and the GVSU Career Center makes the final selection. Special attention is given to the degree of engagement with the program and the university that an employer exhibits, as well as the impact that the company is making in vitality of the business community.
GLHC is honored to be recognized as the nonprofit organization to receive the 2019 GVSU Outstanding Internship Employer Organization award.
GVSU Career Center
Kristie Scanlon, Employer Relations Coordinator for the GVSU Career Center commented, “Great Lakes Health Connect exemplifies the kind of organization we seek as a partner.”
She continued, “the Small Company Internship Award Program provided the incentive to help get their program off the ground. GLHC used that momentum to engage our students through sponsorship and participation in our career fairs, and providing education on specific careers. GLHC takes a broad view of student’s degree programs and intentionally invests in their interns’ knowledge and practical experience. We appreciate the mutually beneficial relationship and are pleased to recognize them as an Outstanding Internship Employer of 2019”.
As a non-profit community resource, Great Lakes Health Connect seeks to do well – offering high quality solutions and services to our clients that positively impact the quality and outcomes of healthcare, while doing good – actively contributing to the betterment of the communities where we live, work, and play. The internship program is a great example of how that value translates to practical application. We are grateful to GVSU for their partnership, collaboration, and this recognition. We look forward to a continued mutually beneficial relationship.