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10/05/2017

Health Care Management Internships Make Students' Dreams Come True

Quick Facts

 Winthrop has the only Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA)-certified health care management program in the state.
 The program requires students to complete a 400-hour internship, typically between their junior and senior year.
 Throughout the last several years, 90 percent of students either find a job in the field or attend graduate school.

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 ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Chandler Cunningham found her mission in life long ago.

“I was an overweight child my entire life and lost 165 pounds in my last two years of high school,” said Cunningham, a Winthrop University business administration major from Cornelius, North Carolina. “I consider it my mission to help kids everywhere overcome the same challenges that I faced being overweight.”

The College of Business Administration’shealth care management concentration brings students like Cunningham one step closer to their dreams through true field experience. 

As the only Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA)-certified health care management program in the state, Winthrop’s program requires students to complete a 400-hour internship, typically between their junior and senior year. This past summer, 29 Winthrop students interned at organizations including Piedmont Medical Center; Lash Consulting; Levine Children’s Hospital; Agape Senior; Bayada Home Healthcare; and many more.

“The internship builds in foundational classes taken prior to the internship,” said Michael Matthews, associate professor of health care management. “When they return from the internship, they’re able to build on their experience and apply their gained knowledge to their health care management classes.”

Throughout the last several years, 90 percent of students either find a job in the field or attend graduate school, he said, adding that the internship is an “integral part of this success.”

Cunningham completed one such internship this past summer in the audit services department at Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS), where she participated in daily meetings with staff and clients; helped on projects related to data-mapping, community and more; and completed online courses for CHS. She will graduate in May, and hopes to attend graduate school at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill or the Medical University of South Carolina. Her end-game career goal: hospital administrator.

“I gained many valuable lessons, knowledge and hands-on experience,” she said. “In the end, I know I want to be excited and enthusiastic about my work/job every day while maintaining a healthy work/life balance.”

Laura Trilling, also a business administration major, spent her summer at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world’s largest biomedical research hospital. The Westminster, Maryland, native interned in the institute’s clinical center laboratory of pathology, learning about everything from hospital accreditation and human resource management to post-mortem examinations and tissue banking. Her long list of duties included shadowing the clinical manager; participating in safety inspections; helping prepare quality management data; assisting in the draft of annual quality plans and NCI leadership award nominations; and observing tissue analysis and dissection for research.

After Trilling graduates, she plans to pursue a master of health care administration. She hopes to work in a children’s hospital either in administration or community relations. 

For more information on this exciting program, contact Matthews at 803/323-2463 or matthewsm@winthrop.edu.


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