While providing patient care is at the forefront of what we do at Shriners Hospitals for Children, education and research are the other core pillars of our mission. The Helen Lemieux Straight to the Heart Summer Internship Program combines education and research to build upon the academic experiences of our next generation of care providers.
The program is named for the former First Lady whose fundraising project during her tenure was called Research – Straight to the Heart. The program was created to provide paid summer internship opportunities at Shriners Hospitals for students pursuing degrees in the medical professions. The program is designed to provide the interns hands-on training through participation in research projects and in clinical operations under the mentorship of outstanding clinicians, scientists and allied health care professionals in the areas of pediatric burns, orthopaedics or spinal cord injury. The goal of this internship is to enhance the students’ interest in pediatric health care, to encourage them to pursue one of Shriners Hospitals’ mission areas as their career and to become a part of the Shriners Hospitals’ health care team when they complete their studies.
Alice Li is a nursing student at Boston College. A rising junior, she just wrapped up her second summer as a Helen Lemieux Scholar at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston. Li has always been familiar with the work at the Boston Shriners Hospital because her mother works in the research lab. For both summer stays, Li selected Colleen Ryan, M.D., to be her staff mentor. Last summer, Li worked with Dr. Ryan on writing papers and shadowing in the operating room and nursing units. This summer, she continues to find opportunities to shadow nurses while writing and editing abstracts and helping with the development of content for a website dedicated to burn outcomes studies.
Li decided to return for a second summer because she wanted to be able to put the additional knowledge she picked up during her sophomore year of school to work. She is amazed at how much she learns from spending time with the nurses and attending multidisciplinary rounds. The techniques and terminology she is exposed to at the hospital give her a leg up when the semester resumes. “It is incredibly interesting here because so many of the kids have very complex issues but the nurses are able to handle every case so well and provide truly exceptional care,” said Li.
Through her experiences at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston, Li has an interest in becoming a pediatric ICU or OR nurse. Shriners Hospitals for Children wishes Alice the best of luck back at school. We’re quite certain Helen Lemieux would be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Helen Lemieux Summer Scholar, details for next summer’s program will be available in early 2018.