The Institute for Diversity in Health Management (IFD) wants the 2017 Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) to be its biggest yet.

The AHA-affiliated IFD helps minority students and professionals advance in the health care management field. Among its more prominent programs is the SEP, an intensive 10-week paid internship open to top-performing graduate students. The students receive focused instruction and on-the-job training under a health care leader who serves as a mentor.

Since its inception in 1994, 1,200 students have participated in the SEP. Many former SEP participants now hold senior management and board positions at organizations across the country.

For example, Suzanne Jackson, CEO of HCA’s John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell, Va.; Michelle Gaskill-Hames, president of Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago; and Roy Hawkins, chief operating officer of Johnston-Willis Hospital in Richmond, Va., participated in the SEP and credit the program as an important factor in their career development.

While we are proud of the SEP’s success, we want to expand the program so more young careerists can participate in these internships and more health care organizations can access up-and-coming talent.

That’s why IFD has entered into a strategic alliance with one of the Institute’s founding members – the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) – to jointly promote the program.

Working closely with ACHE we have developed plans and processes that we believe will allow the SEP to open the health management door to many more individuals and set them on a path to becoming the next generation of health care leaders.

Hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations that are interested in hosting an SEP intern in 2017 can register now. IFD staff will work with organizations to match SEP students with host sites beginning in February. Internships generally will take place from June through August.

Research shows that diverse groups and inclusive work environments lead to better patient care, help solve tough problems, innovate new strategies and improve employee engagement. Let’s all get on board and sign up to mentor an SEP intern this summer.

To learn how your organization can participate in the program, visit or contact Jasmin Clark, IFD membership and educational specialist, at or (312) 422-2658.  

Tomás León is the president and CEO of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management, which is an AHA affiliate. 

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