Leadership Programs: Undergraduate Program

Statewide Undergraduate Healthcare Leadership Internship (UHLI) Program ~ A Plan To Provide College Undergraduates With More Opportunities To "Make A Difference" In Maine

The Hanley Center's unique summer Undergraduate Healthcare Leadership Internship (UHLI) Program has been designed to connect undergraduates with paid experiential summer internship opportunities in health and healthcare sites across Maine.

The Hanley Center works closely with the graduates of its Health Leadership Development Program (HLD), Physician Executive Leadership Institutes (PELI), and Maine colleges and universities in order to arrange for these paid summer positions.

Background:

Hundreds of undergraduates on college campuses across Maine and beyond are on paths toward careers in healthcare. For many, however, that path will take them away from Maine, just at a time when they are needed most

Today, Maine is the grayest state in the nation. This means that we have relatively few young people preparing to enter our workforce. It also means that we have a large and growing percentage of Mainers who are either elderly or who are reaching retirement age, requiring more healthcare services and more trained caregivers.

Because our healthcare workforce is aging as well, many leaders are concerned that we will not have sufficient caregivers to meet the needs of Maine people. Efforts to recruit trained professionals to Maine are costly, time-consuming and often unsuccessful. Given this troubling set of circumstances, we need to do more to bring more of Maine’s young people into health-related careers. We also need to focus more attention on undergraduates who are interested in an array of health careers.

Many college-age individuals see careers in healthcare as a way to “make a difference.” We need more of these young people to make a difference here in Maine.

A Plan To Expand Experiential Internships:

How can we convince more undergraduates to give Maine a chance when they enter the workforce? How can we bring back to Maine more individuals who have earned undergraduate degrees here and then gone onto graduate programs in other states?

The Hanley Center for Health Leadership has built a partnership with Maine colleges and universities aimed at answering these questions. We believe that a combination of leadership development, paid internships, and mentoring could become a powerful tool for addressing a portion of Maine’s growing healthcare workforce shortage. Established in 2011, a leadership program directed at college undergraduates across Maine is building a supportive network of young people who share a common interest. Building upon the Hanley Center’s experience in statewide health leadership initiatives, the UHLI program is helping deepen students’ commitment to healthcare and to Maine, showing them that our state will offer them tremendous opportunities to truly make a difference in their lives and in their careers. Hanley undergraduates learn about how care is delivered and how health policy is formed. They are exposed to inspirational providers and leaders and gain an understanding of the challenges—and the opportunities we face as a state.

Hanley Center Undergraduate Health Leadership Internship Program:

  • Identifies undergraduates from Maine campuses and beyond who have an interest in an array of healthcare careers
  • Brings these students together for a pre-internship orientation session to show them how they can make a difference in a wide range of professions, settings and geographic locations in Maine
  • Organizes paid experiential internships for them during the summer at sites across the state; opportunities include organizations that serve low income and special needs populations, as well as a wide range of other healthcare providers;
  • Pairs each of these young people with mentors who will agree to help guide them and remain in communications as they complete their degrees and make decisions about their future; Mentors include alumni of the Hanley Center’s Health Leadership Development and Physician Executive Leadership Institute.
  • Establishes a network of individuals who have shared this experience, regularly communicate with them and inform them of professional opportunities.

How Do Undergraduates & Their Colleges Benefit From Internships?

  • The Hanley Center draws upon its substantial network of nearly 500 professionals in Maine to serve as a clearinghouse for experiential positions in healthcare, providing a needed resource to college career coordinators;
  • Expanded healthcare positions broaden the educational experiences and credentials of those students applying for post graduate training;
  • The program attracts donors with a specific interest in funding pre-career positions. 
  • The program helps position colleges and universities to do more to address Maine’s healthcare workforce shortage
  • Stronger ties are established between Maine’s colleges and healthcare institutions throughout the state
  • Over time, more alumni will live and work in relatively high paying jobs closer to any Maine alma maters, helping them remain or become more connected and supportive.