The Washington Center Internship Introduces Student to Details of Healthcare Policy
Through a summer internship with The Washington Center (TWC), Worcester State University public health major Breeyn Green ’16 immersed herself in the political discussions about implementation of the Affordable Care Act and other issues affecting clients of Iona Senior Services. She is Worcester State’s 36th student to intern with TWC.
“Being the intern for the Senior Advisory Coalition (SAC), it was my job to take notes at meetings, research topics that the SAC was interested in, and help maintain and facilitate relationships with local non-profit organizations and city officials,” Green explained. “Briefing the SAC after reading a statement from a local legal advocacy group about ineffective transitional practices in the District (moving individuals from nursing homes, hospitals and psychiatric facilities), or reading the legislation behind the Older Americans Act, and creating and managing databases of information became a normal part of both my day and my week!”
In addition, each intern must interview an individual in the community who currently works in the field in which he or she wants to work. Green is not only interested in becoming a doctor, but specifically wants to be a doctor in the United States Navy.
The Washington Center alumni network is vast, and Green was able to tap it to find a naval cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hassan Tetteh, who also teaches at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. “My interview with Dr. Tetteh quickly became more than just an informational interview; it became the first step in developing a relationship with a new mentor,” she said. “This is not something that would have happened had I stayed at home this summer.”
“Attending an NIH Graduate School fair, going to D.C. City Council meetings, talking to Representative James McGovern (D-MA), listening to some of the top analysts and experts in their field discuss problems and solutions to those problems, being present for the Supreme Court’s overturning of DOMA, researching information needed to petition the local government to engage in making needed changes—all of these things have shown me that I can be a part of something bigger,” Green said.
Green, of North Oxford, also took an evening course associated with the internship, enrolled in an online course through WSU, and did an internship-related civic engagement project. “Weekly seminars and conferences are also a part of the program,” she said. “These are designed to introduce us to current issues in politics, environmentalism and business as well as allow us to ask questions of some of the most important people in Washington.”
The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars provides selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C. for academic credit. The largest program of its kind, TWC has more than 50,000 alumni, many of whom are in leadership positions in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. TWC’s alumni hold leadership positions in virtually every career field, including law, education, social work, medicine, journalism, diplomacy, business and politics. Several even serve on TWC’s Board of Directors.
First Photo: Breeyn Green sightseeing in Washington, D.C.
Second Photo: From left, Breeyn Green, Brittany Moniz (Leominster/Westfield State University), Congressman Jim McGovern, Allison Read (Grafton/ University of Massachusetts-Lowell), Matthew Kent (Ware/Westfield State University), and Aaron Dowd (Hatfield/Westfield State University).