Health & Medicine Welcomes Fall 2021 Equity Interns - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Health & Medicine Welcomes Fall 2021 Equity Interns

September 22, 2021

Health & Medicine is glad to welcome our fourth cohort of Equity Interns, Courtney L. Savage Hoggard, Khushbu Shah, and Rachel Donaldson.

Courtney is a 2019 graduate of Brown University, where the former student-athlete received a Bachelor of Arts in Health and Human Biology and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. While at Brown, Courtney researched post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a post-disaster state of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and the role of the American public housing infrastructure and systemic racism on Asthma’s categorization as the “Black and Puerto Rican Disease.” Since graduating from Brown University, Courtney has worked as an Associate at the Milken Institute in Washington, D.C., and interned at the Commonwealth Fund in New York City, helping to develop the growing vulnerable populations and maternal health body of work under Dr. Laurie Zephryin. Beginning in the Fall of 2021, Courtney enrolled in the Master of Bioethics (MBE) program at the University of Pennsylvania. She intends to focus her scholarly project on how systemic racism informs patient autonomy and clinical ethics, further asking how community-oriented primary care can aid in addressing these questions. During this year, Courtney is also applying to medical school to continue studying how the history of medicine and science play a role in the upholding of white supremacy within healthcare systems.

Khushbu is currently enrolled in the Master of Public Health program at The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. She graduated from Georgia State University in 2018 with an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences. Khushbu previously worked as a medical scribe in the emergency department at Unity Point Health in Pekin, Illinois for 2 years. She also has research experience and has been involved in a few journal publications. In her spare time, Khushbu loves to travel to new cities and experience new types of foods while spending time with her friends and family.

Inspired by their father’s commitment to helping young people, Amy Squires and Sarah Squires-Doyle graciously support the Ben Squires Equity Internship, which supports one intern per cohort for an entire year, for a total of three interns. This cohort’s Ben Squires Equity Intern is Rachel Donaldson.

Rachel graduated from Texas Christian University in 2019 with a degree in Biology and a minor in Nutritional Sciences. Throughout her undergraduate career, Rachel was a part of the collaborative Neurobiology of Aging research lab at TCU that studied the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases on the aging brain. Following the completion of her undergraduate degree, Rachel went on to complete a master’s degree in Community Engaged Medicine at Furman University. As a master’s student Rachel had the opportunity to study the science and statistics behind our country’s health disparities while also experiencing these inequities firsthand through the completion of her fieldwork with Community Paramedics, a healthcare solutions organization designed to create a more efficient and effective health system that encourages patients to lead thriving lives of healthcare independence. Rachel also spent her time as a master’s student completing her thesis, Race and Ethnicity’s Impact on Access to Hospice Care. Throughout her young adult life, it has been made clear to Rachel that her deepest passions lie at the intersection of healthcare delivery, health policy, and community activism. As a recently accepted student to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, Rachel is looking forward to starting medical school in the year of 2022. For now, Rachel is grateful for the opportunity to intern at Health and Medicine, as she further equips herself with the tools and experiences necessary to grow into a conscious healthcare provider dedicated to advancing health equity for years to come.

In 2018, Health & Medicine created an Internship Equity Committee charged with developing a new model for internships, called the Equity Intern Program, in which unpaid intern labor is replaced with a paid internship model, and for which we established a “one door” application process so that opportunities are not limited to the well-connected. Providing paid internships is an important step toward creating and sustaining a diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive workforce.

A successful internship can be an integral part of a person’s education and professional development. Our internship program supports the next generation of professionals who share the belief in our mission of health equity and social justice. Our interns are all graduate students in the Chicagoland area interested in gaining experience in public health. Health & Medicine supports three cohorts of three interns per year, for a total of nine interns.