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The August 2006 newsletter, print version

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Past Issues


The August 2006 issue, online version.


DHHS Interns Contribute as They Learn:

N.C. Medicaid Ends Year $350 Million Under Budget

A DHHS Friend Leaves Raleigh

¡Salud y Saludos!

Janice Peterson wins Ketty Award

Williams gets N.C. Pediatric Society Award


New and Improved: DHHS has a new website address!


August is National Immunization Awareness Month

DHHS Wellness at Work


MH/DD/SAS Division hosts 1st N.C. Practice Improvement Congress


Adoption Profile





DHHS interns contribute as they learn

Three summer interns are wrapping up their 10-week stints spent helping Department of Health and Human Resources staff at the N.C. School for the Deaf, at Umstead Hospital, and at the J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center.

They are part of a select group of college students in North Carolina chosen for summer internships with state agencies through the State Government Internship Program, coordinated by the Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office of the Department of Administration. Six hundred students from 82 counties applied for this year’s internships. Eighty were selected. The positions pay $8.25 per hour, enough to help with college expenses, or to take some financial pressure off families.

Jordan Scarboro at NCSDBut more than the pay, the positions provide young people an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in career fields they may be considering. To hear their supervisors talk about it, having an intern aboard also benefits their operations.

“It’s a win-win,” said Dr. Linda Lindsay, director of the N.C. School for the Deaf from her office in Morganton. “It’s a great opportunity for interns to get a glimpse into a world that perhaps they have not been a part of, to develop some skills, and perhaps to get even a deeper insight into what they want to do and don’t want to do.”

Jordan Scarboro, a rising sophomore studying business administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, grew up in Morganton, not far from the School for the Deaf. Her summer job put her to work designing museum exhibits, researching who is buried in a small cemetery on the school’s grounds, and helping with museum fund-raising plans. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here,” she said. “And I will definitely work with the museum in the future.”

Jessica Parker adn Abigail HallHer time spent at the school has broadened her life experience. “The lessons have been immeasurable,” she said. “I’ve learned about research to help me in my schoolwork, I’ve learned about communicating as a whole. There’s a kind of separate Deaf culture and I didn’t realize that before. I’ve learned a lot about that – how people work together and form groups.”

Connie Hedrick of Morganton graduated in the spring from Western Piedmont Community College with an associate’s degree in applied science. She plans to continue her education in the fall. Hedrick has the Exceptional Equestrians Research internship at the J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center in Morganton.

Connie HedrickDottie Reed runs the Exceptional Equestrians program at the Riddle Center, where horses are used for therapeutic riding. Riding the horses may help to build confidence and to rewire the nervous systems of those who may have difficulty with coordination.

“Connie spent the first two weeks talking to staff – occupational therapy and physical therapy staff – to determine which clients would be the best subjects for her research,” Reed said of Hedrick. “She went through all the previous work done by interns, saw what worked, and then improved on it. She’s a horse person and a recreational therapist, so she’s approaching it from a different standpoint.”

Hedrick speaks with ease about the results of her internship. “I do sessions with the residents from the center, and from the community,” she said. “I have this one client who has been coming here for four years. I finally got her on a horse last week. Another has a neurological disability. He couldn’t hold his head up. I’ve got him now where he’ll ride three or four times around the ring.… I’m seeing a lot of improvement.”

Jessica Parker, a rising junior at Elizabeth City State University, is majoring in social work and has a minor in public administration. She is coordinating junior volunteer programs at John Umstead Hospital in Butner this summer.

“I think that Jessica has experienced a real introduction to volunteer management,” said Linda Dameron, Umstead’s volunteer coordinator. Parker is the program’s third intern, and is building on a foundation put in place by the first.

“Interns come and we do work placements,” she said. “We’re placing them in computer services, nutrition services and work activities with patients. We do lesson plans and arrange for different people to come in and talk with them about career opportunities.” In addition, Parker said that she is spending time learning about volunteer administration with Dameron and Abigail Hall, Umstead’s volunteer services coordinator.

Parker plans to enter the Peace Corps when she graduates from college, with an eye toward working afterwards on a master’s degree in social work and public administration at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her long-term goal is to work in a nonprofit agency, doing administrative work and helping the homeless or children.

“She’s just full of energy. She’s been just wonderful,” Dameron said of Parker.

Supervisors all offer praise for the interns working with them this summer, and for the program that brought them to their work environments.

“It’s been a good opportunity for our intern to develop some real skills that are translatable to life experiences later,” said Dameron.

“This is an important, substantive service for the state to do this,” Lindsay said. “It is a wise thing to do for the young people as well as the state. For a state agency, it’s a great way to get some help to do time-limited projects that might otherwise stay on the back burner for lack of resources.”

Reed summed up the benefits of having Hedrick at the equestrian program: “She’s learning a lot, and giving us a lot, too.”















Last Modified: February 4, 2013