Carly Ohlrich spent the summer interning for the Health Strategies team of the American Heart Association, Greater Washington Region. Due to the pandemic, Carly supported the team remotely from her home. She assisted on projects around Community Impact, Advocacy and Communications.
The reason I wanted to join the American Heart Association this summer was much more than just for work experience. I am a senior at the University of Michigan studying Biopsychology Cognition and neuroscience. Granted, I am hoping to attend PA school upon graduating college, however this internship was personal for me due to the fact that I was born with a heart condition myself. When I was 11 months old, I was diagnosed with AV heart block, and when I was 12, I had a pacemaker implanted. This changed my life in so many ways, particularly sparking an interest in health and the medical field. I found myself extra interested in personal health as well as the healthcare provided to people with issues like this. So, as I browsed for internships this summer I looked out for something that would be a useful experience for me as well as something that I cared about. I found this opportunity as a Health Strategies intern which seemed like a perfect chance for me to work in a healthcare-linked setting, but to also be on the education side of things. I think especially in this day and age, education on these types of things such as nutrition, heart health, and stroke prevention are very important in preventing further health issues from growing.
Some of my responsibilities included helping out with the FLiP program as well as sending out resources to organizations in need during the pandemic. Obviously this summer played out very differently than I would have expected with everything turning remote, however I still felt able to navigate the circumstances and still found myself able to meet several people through zoom calls. I felt that regardless of the situation, I was still able to gain valuable experience working with doctors, healthcare professionals, and of course the Health Strategies team at AHA.
Submitted by: Carly Olhrich