We spend all year supporting and fundraising for Riley Hospital for Children, but have you ever thought about working there?

Great news, IUDM participants – you could this summer through the ALC Internship! Two outstanding IUDMers will be chosen to work in a department of their choice for either the hospital or the Riley Children’s Foundation. This internship will not only further your professional goals, but you’ll get to see firsthand the incredible work Riley does every day for an entire summer!

The ALC Internship program is another way we honor the life of Ashley Louise Crouse, an executive council member who tragically passed away in a car accident in 2005. Allison Winstel and Janaki Patel, two members of the 2014 executive council, participated in last year’s program.

Allison, former VP of Finance, had always been interested in nonprofit work and health care causes. And although she was very dedicated to IUDM, she said as an out-of-state student she never really had a more personal connection to Riley.

“It really was the first time I got to see how special Riley really is,” Allison said. “Every single person there is For The Kids.”

During her summer working with the hospital, Allison spent one day each week with the Riley Children’s Foundation working on development, including donor relations and database assistance.

“I’m a fundraiser at heart,” she said. “It was very true to who I am.”

When not working with the foundation, Allison rotated through different administrative departments throughout Riley and the rest of the IU Health system. She worked with the chief operating officer of Riley and got to be part of conversations about how to find effective and efficient solutions to problems in the hospital, such as the call process at the ambulatory care center.

Allison said this internship made her realize just how important philanthropy is to allowing Riley to do the work it does.  Knowing how much support this particular hospital gets because of IU really enriched her experience with IUDM, she said. Allison also got to meet more of the families on top of learning important skills and better understanding the administrative side of health care.

“I think it’d be easy for me to go into an internship in any health care facility or hospital and learn the same skills and take them at face value,” she said, “but because of IUDM and being immersed with these families, it gave it more of a purpose. It’s not just any job.” 

After this semester, Allison will begin work as a business management consultant with Deloitte in Chicago.

While Allison’s role as an intern focused more on the business side of Riley, Janaki Patel, former Director of Riley Development, got to see more of the medical side during her internship.

Janaki, a pre-med student, knew she wanted an opportunity where she could spend a summer shadowing doctors and getting clinical experience. Her brother had interned with Riley a few years earlier and found a great mentor during his time there, and she wanted that same kind of mentorship.

She spent much of her time shadowing different doctors, especially in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).  She also helped a doctor at the Ryan White Infectious Disease Center – a center funded by IUDM – with research on how much blood is appropriate to be drawn from kids who spend a long time at the hospital and get their blood drawn nearly every day.

Her favorite part of the internship was the NICU.

“I love the kids. I’ve always loved the kids,” she said. “I just realized I really liked being there.”

While in the NICU, Janaki said she experienced a lot of great moments, such as the release of twins who had spent 180 days in the unit. The twins’ mother had been living at the hospital with them, and everyone celebrated with hugs and tears when the babies finally got to go home.

She also realized that being a good doctor was more than just knowing the science – it’s about developing an emotional connection with the patients and families. Janaki witnessed that when she saw a doctor pay out of pocket for medication for a patient who couldn’t afford it.

“I learned so much that you couldn’t learn outside of a hospital,” she said.

Janaki said her work with Riley this summer confirmed that medicine was what she really wanted to do, especially since she was working for something she had already cared so much about. The experience also gave her greater perspective to pass along to her Riley D committee.

“It just meant everything to me and it still does,” Janaki said. “I owe so much to IUDM and so much to this internship. It’ll always be a part of me and I will always be a part of it.”

Janaki will attend the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis beginning this fall.

Both Allison and Janaki said what is unique about the internship is how much it can be catered to the intern’s interests.

 “They’re so concerned with helping you,” Janaki said. “I couldn’t imagine an environment where so many people around you want you to succeed.”

“It’s a perfect culmination and perfect link between the passion and everything you’ve given to IUDM and how that can translate to the rest of your life,” Allison said. “There’s something for you at Riley. I encourage everyone to take this opportunity to apply.”

Both Allison and Janaki said they’d be happy to answer any further questions. Allison can be reached at 513-349-6904 or awinstel@umail.iu.edu, and Janaki can be reached at 317-507-2958 or janakipatel92@gmail.com.

Applications for the ALC Internship can be found at iudm.org/internship, and the deadline to apply is this Friday (March 6) at 5 p.m. Applications must be submitted to Riley Children’s Foundation Dance Marathon Coordinator Samantha Lame, slame@rileykids.org.

Good luck to everyone applying!  

FTK always,
Alyssa Schor