Alice Hyde Welcomes 2022 Summer Youth Program Participants
More than a dozen students from communities across UVM Health Network – Alice Hyde Medical Center’s primary service area are getting their first on-the-job experience in health care this month, as the hospital welcomes participants in its Summer Youth Program to departments across Alice Hyde.
“Summer Youth is a program that we are so proud to have at Alice Hyde, and we are excited to be able to resume it in-full, after two years of significant impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tina Andrews-Perry, Student and Volunteer Services Manager at Alice Hyde. “The program is so versatile; it’s an on-the-job learning experience for some, a college prepatory opportunity for others; and always a pleasure for us to work with young people in our community.”
The program – Franklin County’s Summer Employment Program – runs from July through August and is open to 14-to-20-year-olds, and is designed to provide young people with opportunities to develop job readiness skills and exposure to careers in areas that interest them, said Joelle Lamica, Director of Catholic Charities of Franklin County, which administers the program.
“Alice Hyde has been a partner in the program for twenty-plus years, and over the last eight years we’ve really worked hard together to grow the opportunities for students to get experience in a wide variety of departments and services,” said Lamica. “The hospital does an amazing job of opening opportunities for students and working to place them in situations where they’re going to flourish over the long term.”
This year, 15 students have joined departments across Alice Hyde, filling roles that range from administrative work, to supporting clinical offices and facilities such as The Alice Center, Laboratory Services, and the Reddy Cancer Center. No students are involved in direct patient or resident care, said Andrews-Perry, and the focus is on giving them opportunities to experience working in health care through job-shadowing and non-care-related duties, and build basic job-related skills such as timeliness and professionalism.
“I’m proud that we provide a positive and productive work experience for our youth,” she said. “In many cases, this is their first work experience, and we are proud of how our departments take these students under their wings and guide them. We take our responsibilities to these young people very seriously.”
After two years of dramatic COVID-19 impacts to the program at Alice Hyde — in 2020 the hospital temporarily suspended the program due to the pandemic; and last year students were unable to join The Alice Center team due to New York State Department of Health regulations related to COVID-19 and long-term care facilities — both Lamica and Andrews-Perry say they are thrilled that students once again had a full range of health care-related experiences to choose from when enrolling.
“This program is deeply personal,” said Lamica. “It’s really about looking at each individual, building on their aspirations and goals, and putting them where they’re going to flourish. I love it, because at this point there are so many opportunities in the community, it allows these students to build their experience and learn what it feels like to work.”
Andrews-Perry said that as the Summer Youth Program itself expands — this year students age 14 and 15 were eligible to participate for the first time — Alice Hyde has moved to expand the scope of opportunities available to students, creating new student positions at The Alice Center, Reddy Cancer Center, and the hospital’s Admissions department.
“Giving young people a chance to experience working in health care and at our community hospital is just really important to us,” said Andrews-Perry. “I think everyone involved – both the students and our employees – gain a lot from this experience.”