Tower Health’s High School Internship Program recognized for workforce innovation

Reading Hospital – Tower Health received a prestigious award for its High School Internship Program, which helps to address gaps in career exploration opportunities through hands-on experiences. The program was one of three organizations statewide to receive the Workforce Innovators Award from The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) through its 2024 Achievement Awards.

“We are proud of our Internship Program and are extremely pleased with the results we’ve seen,” said Desha Dickson, Tower Health’s Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Wellness. “Of our graduates more than 30 percent have remained engaged with the hospital through job shadowing, our college internship programs, or employment.”

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The Reading Hospital High School Internship Program began in 2014 with six students from Reading High School. Now in its 10th year, the program has expanded to include school districts in Berks County and is currently hosting 29 high school seniors. In total, the program has hosted 117 students from 14 local school districts.

The Internship Program provides an opportunity to enhance students’ academic, professional, and personal development. Through hands-on experiences, students apply and develop their knowledge and skills in real-life situations. The goal is to help to positively influence future educational and career goals, leading students to confirm their desire to work in healthcare and serve as a pipeline for encouraging and supporting students to pursue careers in healthcare.

The Achievement Awards, started in 1978, recognizes hospitals and health systems that are taking innovative approaches to strengthening the safety and quality of care, enhancing operations and patients’ experience, and partnering with their communities to address public health needs. Reading Hospital competed against organizations of a similar size for the Workforce Innovators Award, which celebrates hospitals engaging the health care workforce through projects developed to attract, develop, and retain the best workforce. Entries were scored on specific criteria including results, adaptability and how the goal of advancing health equity was embedded in the initiative. In total, 13 organizations out of 93 entries were selected for this year’s Achievement Awards.

“We are proud to announce the winners of HAP’s 2024 Achievement Awards, showcasing innovative, patient-centered projects that are making a difference in Pennsylvania,” HAP President and CEO Nicole Stallings said. “Strong health systems make strong communities and hospitals are central to our shared mission for a healthy Pennsylvania.”

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Additional information about the awards program and detailed descriptions of the winning projects are available online.

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Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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