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.
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.
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.