A Culture of Care
Hello! My name is Rachel and I started interning at Healthy Baby Network in September 2017. I started my internship for a class at the University of Rochester, where I’m a senior pursuing a B.A. in Health, Behavior, and Society. I decided to intern with Healthy Baby Network because my college career and research thus far have been focused on maternal and child health. What better place to learn about maternal and child health than at an organization that aims to give a healthy start to life for infants by connecting their moms and families with life-saving services?
As an intern, I’ve had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with community engagement and with maternal and child health services. I also had the opportunity to attend the Annual Conference this past October, “Safe Mom = Safe Baby: Pregnancy, Violence, and Maternal Mortality.” At the conference, I met community members, health care providers, and many other people who hold integral roles in the Rochester community. The conference had many emotional moments, but one of the most emotional for me was knowing that I was surrounded by people as passionate about maternal and child health as I am. Being in a room of over 100 people who are working toward the same goal is an experience that continues to inspire me to make an impact on community health.
Beginning my internship, I expected to learn about the infant mortality rate in the Rochester community, which is devastatingly high. While I have learned more about Rochester and maternal and child health than I’d ever hoped to learn in a classroom, I also learned about fostering a culture of care. Every member of the Healthy Baby Network staff cares so much about their work and about each other. I felt immediately welcomed in the office and at staff meetings, which allowed me to be a part of important and enriching conversations centered around cultural competency, community, and care.
My goal in September was to engage with the Rochester community and try to give back to the place that has been my home for the past four years. Not surprisingly, this internship and community has given me more than I could ever hope to give. Through this internship, I have met some of the most inspiring community members, many of whom I worked alongside at Healthy Baby Network. Every person I have met through this internship has reminded me why I study public health and what change I can personally make in the lives of others and in the health of individuals and communities. This internship and community have also given me something even more important: hope. I have hope that through the work of Healthy Baby Network and their network of community partners, we can lower the infant mortality rate and create a healthier community.
I am honored to be a part of Healthy Baby Network’s work as well as part of the Rochester community.
Written by Rachel Ellison, intern at Healthy Baby Network from 2017-2018.
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About Deanna Spiotta
Deanna is the Communications Director for Healthy Baby Network.