Meet our Kaiser summer interns


From left to right:

Stephanie LaFace ’17, Grace Bailey ’18, and Sharon Chiang ’17, pictured here at a division-wide picnic. Other interns attended, as well.

Stephanie, Sharon, and Grace are working with the Innovation and Advanced Technology (IAT) team, headquartered in Oakland, California. They’ve also spent time at the Innovation Lab, based at the Garfield Center in San Leandro.

Returning to Kaiser for the summer

Sharon at cooler.png

As an intern last summer at Kaiser Permanente, Sharon Chiang ’17 had the opportunity to explore a field she wasn’t familiar with. This summer, she returned with a goal: to gain more skillsets in healthcare innovation and technology.

So far, she’s worked on five different projects, ranging from presenting products at sales meetings to analyzing the concept of a “concierge robot.” She writes:

“Being exposed to the different stages of innovation, such as the pipeline technology intake meetings, to the mock-up stage, to the user experience interviews, and back to brainstorming, has made me gain a new appreciation for teamwork. Innovation welcomes many different perspectives…I feel like I am making a positive impact.”


A Kaiser summer internship

When you read this, Grace Bailey ’18 will have set off for Oakland, California, where she’ll be interning for the summer at Kaiser Permanente. Here’s what she’s found out about the company so far:

“Kaiser makes an effort to solve problems in an innovative and service-focused (as opposed to research-focused) manner, usually through the use of emerging technologies and creative, fast-paced brainstorming sessions. They follow a step-by-step problem-solving process: They start by spending a day in a Kaiser hospital, noting observations, and interviewing nurses, staff, doctors and patients to garner a sense for the problem at hand. After their observation day, the team gathers at their office and identifies the problem plaguing the hospital. Next, they work to problem-solve, developing a solution through both human-centered design thinking and the use of technology at the Sidney R. Garfield Health Care Innovation Center, Kaiser’s brainstorming and prototyping facility. Once the Innovation Consultancy team has created a viable solution to the problem, they implement it in Kaiser hospitals. To ensure that the project undertaken was successful, the team measures the effectiveness of their solution, comparing the cost of developing the project to the money the organization is saving as a result of the new solution, as well as other, less tangible measures like employee and patient satisfaction. If the solution proves successful, they scale it to become a streamlined practice in all Kaiser hospitals.

Kaiser’s innovation efforts are evident: they have the most advanced electronic medical record (EMR) system in the country and distinguish themselves from most United States hospitals in that they do not follow a fee-for-service model but instead ensure that premiums cover all patient care. Additionally, Kaiser is a key player in the Innovation Learning Network, a consortium of health care organizations that share ideas to advance healthcare innovation efforts. Overall, this speaks to Kaiser Permanente as a whole in that it values sharing knowledge and bringing great idea-generators together. From explaining the Innovation Consultancy’s process of combining new technology with new methodologies to highlighting several specific aspects of Kaiser that make it incredibly innovative, I am very excited to begin my work with Kaiser in this sphere.”


An FWI Summer

By Tyler West ’16

For 19 years, Boston treated me well: I was educated, strong-minded, and gritty like the city that raised me. But during my final year of high school, I knew I wanted to experience a larger life. My college search led me to CMC, as two things about the place immediately sparked my interests: there was a communal emphasis on the outdoors and adventure, and the resources available for students were second-to-none. During my sophomore year, I applied to be a research assistant at the Berger Institute, as I was curious about research work and wanted to take advantage of one of the eleven research institutes on campus. I got the Berger job, and was almost simultaneously accepted into CMC’s Sponsored Internship program, which took me to Phuket, Thailand for twelve weeks to teach English. Thanks to CMC, doors were opening.

A year into my role as a research assistant at Berger, I applied for a summer internship at the Families and Work Institute in New York City. For the past five or so years, the Berger Institute has had a relationship with FWI, and that year, they were looking for a student with research experience and a passion for video production. I was enrolled at the time in a video art class learning how to work a studio video camera and how to produce videos with software like Adobe Creative Suite and Final Cut. I remember turning to my girlfriend, a NYC-lower-east-side-native, and stating, “This position was made for me.”

When you grow up in Boston, NYC is always “the other guy.” But as soon as I stepped off the Lucky Star Bus at Union Station, I was hooked. There was style everywhere: lampposts, sidewalks, store fronts, clothing, and billboards were covered with forms of expression like hyper-patchwork. There was so much to analyze. The city’s charm was apparent.

On my first day in the office, Eve and Anne, two FWI employees, took Sarah, a Barnard student intern, and me out to lunch to one of their favorite spots near the new FWI office on 28th Street and 5th Avenue. Eve told me that the main project I would be working on was a video compilation for their annual Gala event, where company sponsors and supporters of FWI come to hear about the institute’s work. Fortunately for me, Eve said they had zero direction for where they wanted to take the video, so I pounced, and they trusted me: they were going to allow me to be hands-on and autonomous.

With Sarah conducting the interviews, I set up the shooting angles and manned the camera, furthering my knowledge of lighting, scene design, and the interview process. In total, we interviewed three FWI employees, one of which was Ellen Galinsky, the founder of FWI. In New York City, it’s not uncommon to see a camera crew positioned on a street corner or at Washington Park. Suddenly, I was the man behind the lens, behind the scene making it all happen. And I got to do it all exactly as I pleased.

On my last day at FWI, I showed Jennie, resident video expert at FWI, my final cut of the Gala video. She asked me where I found the figures that I used and how I executed animation in Final Cut. I told her the truth: “I created the figures in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and taught myself how to simulate animation.” She laughed. “You’re better than me at this. You should consider working with us after school.”

I gave her words deep thought after I left the FWI offices that day, but I’m very glad to say that I have accepted a position with Teach for American in New Orleans, and I’m waiting to hear back from the Fulbright Fellowship, which would send me back to Thailand for ten month to teach English as a Second Language to the youth there.


It’s Who You Know

-by Kelsey Gohn ’16

I didn’t expect to find my junior year internship so easily given what I had observed from the experiences of my peers, but one of Berger’s partner summer internship programs turned out to be the perfect experience for me. During CMC’s Silicon Valley Program, I was able to connect with a Berger board member in the Bay Area and hear about her experiences both at CMC and with her work in healthcare. She also connected me to her network at Kaiser Permanente; it was great to have Berger in common.

When next summer rolled around, I knew I was going to apply to the Berger Institute’s internship at Kaiser because I had already met several members of the team. It was a great way for me to secure an internship at a company that I wanted to work at, while having the comfort of knowing that it had been vetted by CMC. Midway through the summer, Professor Kanaya met with our supervisor to ensure that we were getting a fantastic experience, and we were able to make a few tweaks so that the second half was even better.

At KP, I was able to work on innovation projects and their annual Bring Your Child to Work Day. I met so many wonderful people who made time to talk with me so I could see the range of full-time opportunities available. So far, this has helped make the transition into the senior year job search go much more smoothly.