The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust

Reflections from LVHN 2019 Research Scholars Program

Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Research Scholar Program is a long-running, esteemed experience that provides structured educational research opportunities for undergraduate students while also providing valuable assistance to LVHN departments. The program spans eight weeks each summer and is coordinated by the Department of Education. The program is jointly supported by The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust and LVHN departments. The Pool Trust congratulates the students who completed this program in 2019 and is pleased to share reflections from several participants.

I am so glad I had the opportunity to work at LVHN this summer. LGBT health is something I have always been interested in, but my experience this summer has shown me that this is the career path I want to pursue. My research project was something I was genuinely passionate about – I created a presentation to educate clinicians on LGBT health, and was able to teach it to a small group at the end of the summer. This program gave me a chance to create something that will continue to be used – my mentor and I are continuing my project beyond the summer. Working on this gave me an interactive, hands-on experience in my field of interest that I wouldn’t find anywhere else. – Mandy McHale, Lehigh University

Few experiences in life are life-changing, but I can’t express enough how significant this time as a part of the LVHN Research Scholars Program has been to me. From invaluable professional training, research, exposure to surgical experiences and the networking opportunities made available to us, I have solidified my aspirations and goals and have an energized, focused direction, as well as a true appreciation for the LVHN system.

The program head has been an incredible guide and mentor for all of us, has organized and focused us, making it all seem seamless and effortless, and inspiring us toward our next steps.  My mentor is a chief of an esteemed division at LVHN, but routinely took time out of his busy schedule to instruct and advise on our projects, was devoted to finding new experiences for us each day, met with us early mornings to show us around the OR, and arranged for us surgery observation privileges. The connections we made with our mentor as well as the surgical staff in the OR were unlike any other, as they were always eager to teach with warm, patient smiles. The past few months at LVHN have remolded my future personal aspirations and goals, and I will always be grateful for this experience. – Alexandra Reph, Duke University

The overall experience of the Research Scholar Program can help shape any person considering a future in the healthcare industry into a better student regardless of their academic background or interests. To get the most out of the program I think a Research Scholar should actively participate in as many Network events as possible, but perhaps the most noteworthy suggestion would be to go out of your comfort zone. Taking appropriate risks to enhance your knowledge in a certain field or even taking a risk in an attempt to network with other individuals will serve you well in the future, and this program has provided me with the wonderful opportunity to do both each and every day I was here. – Liam Romond, Moravian College

This summer, I had an incredible experience working as a research scholar at Lehigh Valley Health Network. I was able to work with physicians and many highly respected individuals on a research topic that I chose and was interested in. There was never a dull moment as I spent time at different hospitals and LVH locations in addition to my office building. Weekly meetings with the other research scholars allowed me to sharpen my interview skills, improve my presentation abilities, and create a strong resume. I couldn’t have asked for a better summer program that combined research, problem solving, and professional development. – Matthew Johnson, Penn State University

To see what these individuals achieve and to envision where they are going in their careers, which was directly fostered and supported by this program, is incredible. We are so fortunate to be able to host this program and have these students brought into the LVHN community. The mentors, members of the public, and community partners were amazed by these students at their research presentations. –Brooke Zumas, Psy.D., NCSP, Senior Education Consultant, Department of Education, Lehigh Valley Health Network

(Photos Courtesy of Lehigh Valley Health Network)