Guest Blog: My Internship with Care Ring
As soon as I interviewed to intern at Care Ring this summer, I knew that this is where I wanted to be. Its mission and goals amazed me and to know that I had the opportunity to be a part of their work for just a summer sounded too good to be true. In May, what I originally thought was going to be a five-week internship quickly turned into a 12-week internship, as I found more and more I wanted to be a part of and work on. Due to COVID-19, I went into my internship thinking that I would not accomplish as much as I would if I did an in-person internship with Care Ring. I could not have been more wrong. With Care Ring, I was able to do more than I thought possible and do work that correlates to their three main programs: Physicians Reach Out, Nurse-Family Partnership, and the Low-Cost Clinic. I worked on collecting patient stories for a story-booking project, redesigning the NC Health Guide to show the new changes that have occurred due to the Coronavirus, and completing three eye clinics through Vision to Learn. While these three projects were my main focus, I was also able to attend meetings and webinars as well as to conduct research that all exposed me to current health issues in Charlotte and what Care Ring, as well as other nonprofits in the area, are doing to help those in the community.
Every project I worked on showed me how much the community cares for Care Ring and how meaningful the work they do is. In collecting client stories, every single person I talked to spoke highly of the organization and the representatives they worked with whether it be a nurse with the Nurse-Family Partnership program, someone from the clinic, or a physician they were connected to through PRO. Hearing all of their stories and what they have been through showed me how a little can go a long way and how Care Ring being there for them in their time of need is just what they needed. After listening to clients from all three programs, I am happy to know that there is a nonprofit in my community that is helping people get the healthcare they deserve.
The NC Health Guide is an amazing website and I still cannot believe that I had the opportunity to update it! I gained so much knowledge about Medicaid Transformation while working on this project and it helped me understand more about the work I am doing for Care Ring. I believe that anyone can benefit from the knowledge on this website and in the Ebook, and that it is important to know for when Medicaid transformation occurs in North Carolina. In terms of gaining knowledge, I also felt that I gained more of an understanding of community health in the webinars I attended and the research that I did. By being able to read and look at the research and listen to healthcare professionals discuss things such as how equity, COVID-19, and social determinants of health impact a person’s health, I feel that I have gained a more comprehensive view of healthcare in Charlotte and how Care Ring is doing everything in their power to improve the health of Charlotteans.
While I enjoyed all of the projects I completed with Care Ring, my favorite project was planning and hosting three Vision to Learn Eye Clinics that allowed for over 40 kids to get vision screenings and glasses. Due to COVID-19, the screenings took place in Vision to Learn’s mobile eye clinic in the parking lot of the Children and Family Services Center. Care Ring employees were gracious enough to schedule the appointments and bring materials outside (including ice cream treats and toy cars for the kids) to allow this event to happen. As someone who wore glasses as a child, I know the necessity of having a good pair of glasses during the school year even if that school year is remote. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to be a part of these amazing eye clinics and help provide glasses to the kids that needed them.
Care Ring partnering with Vision to Learn really shows me how Care Ring will do what is needed to help the community. While they have a lot going on inside their own non-profit organization, they still put forth the work to collaborate on other projects with other local non-profits. If there is one thing I learned this summer, it is that the work of multiple organizations, community members, and healthcare professionals is needed to create real change in the Charlotte community. This is one of the many reasons why I am so appreciative to have had the opportunity to intern for Care Ring this summer.
Care Ring is more than a non-profit. It is a family that is dedicated to empowering community members and creating change in the Charlotte area. In my few months interning for them, I learned how well they work with each other and communicate effectively to help those in need. Every single person who works at Care Ring is kind and wants to help the community in whatever way they can. These are some of the reasons that I want to continue my work with Care Ring and volunteer with them on a weekly basis. I believe in their mission and fully support the healthcare work they are doing in the community. My experience interning was phenomenal, and I want to continue to support them for as long as I can. In a time of uncertainty, I could not be any more grateful for my internship with Care Ring and the projects I was able to do that helped the Charlotte community.
About the Author: Madison Snyder is a part of the Levine Scholars Program at UNC Charlotte. The Levine Scholars Program is a four-year full merit-based scholarship given to 20 rising UNC Charlotte Freshman every year that is awarded based on scholarship, ethical leadership, and civic engagement. As a Levine Scholar, the opportunity is given to participate in a different summer experience each year. The first summer is attending a NOLS expedition in the Wind River Range of Wyoming, the second summer consists of interning with a nonprofit in Charlotte, the third summer consists of a pre-professional internship, and the fourth summer includes participating in a study abroad trip of your choice.
As a rising sophomore, Madison completed her Charlotte nonprofit internship at Care Ring. Madison is double-majoring in Biology and Spanish with a minor in Public Health. She is on a pre-med track and aspires to become an Oncologist. She is the founder and president of Students Against Melanoma at UNCC which aims to raise awareness on skin cancer, specifically melanoma, and how to prevent it.