Four Georgia State undergraduate health informatics students get a crash course in remote teamwork via a summer internship with Evva Health -- a fast-growing healthcare technology startup with a mission to enable personalized, data-driven and goal-oriented care experience for families and patients living with dementia. Evva Health is developing a unique dementia caregiving platform.
The eager interns are collaborating with seasoned industry talent to enhance the platform's user experience. In return, the company offers them a unique opportunity to learn and network with global health and technology leaders, which students might otherwise miss in other work environments.
“We wanted to provide a meaningful experience to the students through this internship. We set up clear goals and objectives based on their strengths, interests, and areas they wanted to develop. A mid-point evaluation was also given. Furthermore, they all have had the opportunity to work closely with the founders of Evva Health,” said Anamaria Encean, a Georgia State alumna and advisory board member for both the company and the health informatics program.
Encean is the architect of the Evva Health/Georgia State health informatics program partnership.
“The partnership came naturally,” she said. “Mentorship is important to me, and when I thought about what I had wanted out of the [HI] program, I knew this partnership was a good fit. In the past, the HI program didn’t have a part in the technology space, only hospitals and clinics. Students wanting to work in healthcare technology had to find their own internship opportunities.”
Learning remote working skills is a big part of the program. Though the students are comfortable working independently, collaborating with colleagues in remote sites is prevalent in the technology space, and it is becoming the new norm for many organizations. These students benefit from learning how to adapt professionally to the remote workplace, putting them ahead of others adjusting to remote work.
“It takes a lot of dedication and self-control to work remotely and not succumb to distractions. Therefore, it's important to be intentional about how I'm using my time and structure my environment in such a way that keeps me engaged,” said JR Mae Espinoza, a graduating senior in health informatics.
Competition for the Evva Health internship is intense; half students applying are accepted, and all go through rigorous interviews, including interviews with the company’s co-founders. Students must show initiative and the ability to work as self-starters. Encean said that ultimately the students selected must match skills and interest with the company’s needs.
“This position allows me to use my previous experience while continuing to develop my expertise in new areas of responsibility. It's exciting to work with a group of diverse people who have experience with dementia and are experts in various areas,” said Espinoza.
Evva Health plans to offer the internship again in future summer terms, though next summer’s offering may look different.
“The current internship cohort also includes undergraduate and graduate students from Seattle, California and Michigan. This gives the students the advantage to network with peers from other institutions and expand their professional network,” said Carl Hanna Ph.D., Evva Health co-founder and CEO.
“As we grow the organization, we will be looking at [Georgia State] as a source for talent,” said Encean.