Summer Enrichment Program Spotlight

Former two-time SEP intern explains how the experience ignited her career


shonalie roberts

Shonalie Roberts

Administrator, Medical Student Advocate (MSA) Program and Health Equity,
Main Line Health (MLH), Philadelphia

IFDHE SEP Alum, 2013, 2014

Have you or any of your (direct) staff participated as a student in the Summer Enrichment Program? How has that experience shaped where you are today?

I am a proud two-time veteran of the IFD SEP – in 2013, I interned at Penn Medicine’s Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) under the joint leadership of Albert P. Black, Jr., Chief Operating Officer, HUP and Phil Okala, Senior Vice President for Business Development at Penn Medicine and in 2014, I interned at Main Line Health’s Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, under the leadership of Joanne Hill, Director, Human Resources and Donna Phillips, President.

Both of these internship experiences ignited my career in healthcare administration as a direct result of the afforded exposure to seasoned healthcare leaders and diverse departmental operations, within an academic medical center and an inpatient rehabilitation hospital. Additionally, my SEP intern experiences allowed me to showcase my talents, capabilities and dependability to the organization, which I believe positioned me for continued success in my career at MLH. For instance, as a MLH SEP intern, I led the project to achieve CMS’ Stage 2 Meaningful Use Patient Access goals across MLH’s four acute hospitals, which resulted in accolades from CMS as well as a large financial incentive for the health system. From that project, I gained and honed skills including building and leading teams and effective communication to senior executives, managers and direct reports. I continue to use these gained skills in my role, today.

"The Institute’s Summer Enrichment Program is an asset for any hospital and health system."

Lastly, the SEP expanded my network. Oftentimes, it’s not what you know but who you know. The SEP encourages and expects networking and collaboration among its cohorts of interns across the nation. I remain in contact and continue to support my fellow SEP colleagues and that is certainly reciprocated.

Can you tell us about your host site organization and your role on the team?

Main Line Health (MLH), founded in 1985, is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. At its core are four of the region’s most respected acute care hospitals – Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital – as well as one of the nation’s premier facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital. MLH’s mission is to provide a comprehensive range of safe, high quality health services, complemented by related educational and research activities that meet the health care needs and improve the quality of life in the communities we serve.

In my role as the Program Administrator of the Medical Student Advocate (MSA) Program and Health Equity, I help develop and implement the health system’s strategy to achieve health equity and oversee, sustain and grow one of Main Line Health’s longstanding health equity programs.

"My SEP intern experiences allowed me to showcase my talents, capabilities and dependability to the organization, which I believe positioned me for continued success in my career."

Since 2012, the MSA Program has engaged medical and other graduate students from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine as volunteers to help patients and community members to identify and address social barriers to their care. MSAs are non-medical advocates who assist patients with referrals to community organizations that address needs such as housing, transportation, food, child care and others.

How many years has your organization participated in the Summer Enrichment Program?

Main Line Health has participated in the SEP since 2005 and has trained close to 40 interns, 5 of whom (including me) are currently employed by our organization!

What inspires you to continue to partner with the Institute each year?

Each year, MLH remains inspired to continue partnering with the Institute because of the opportunities it facilitates to advance health care equity, diversity and inclusion via its SEP, Certificate in Diversity Management and other programs.

"It is especially exciting and rewarding when we are fortunate to retain talented SEP interns as employees within our organization who can help to innovate and grow the health system and its work in and for our community."

The Institute’s mission and its programs, including and especially its Summer Enrichment Program, directly align with many of MLH’s core values, including excellence, innovation and diversity, respect and inclusion. At Main Line Health, we recognize that people are the most important resources in our organization. We believe in fostering a working environment of collaboration, participation and respect. A cornerstone of that belief is a commitment to attracting talented, dedicated individuals from a broad cross-section of backgrounds, experiences and walks-of-life; all working together for a common purpose.

How has the Summer Enrichment Program benefited your organization?

Annually, the Summer Enrichment Program brings a new cohort of innovative, creative and diversely talented students to Main Line Health. The program helps us to challenge and broaden the thinking of both the students and Main Line Health, as an organization. It is especially exciting and rewarding when we are fortunate to retain talented SEP interns as employees within our organization who can help to innovate and grow the health system and its work in and for our community. One such success story of a current employee and former SEP intern is Jameyshia Franklin who has been with MLH since 2012, when she started as an SEP intern. Immediately following her internship experience, Jameyshia completed MLH’s Administrative Fellowship program and her career continues to exponentially grow within the organization. Currently, Jameyshia leads patient experience and volunteer services for Main Line Health’s Bryn Mawr Hospital. She also serves as a member of the coordinating committee that manages the Main Line Health Summer Enrichment Program and selects interns, annually.

Can you tell us about a positive experience you have had with your student interns?

I’ve had so many!

I’ve been involved with the MLH SEP interns since completing my experience with the program at MLH in 2015. I formally joined the MLH SEP Coordinating Committee in 2018, working to continuously enhance the internship experience at Main Line Health alongside other former MLH SEP interns like Jameyshia Franklin, Tabish Mian, Sharnae White and Shivani Patel and MLH senior leaders like Jeshahnton “Shaun” Essex, Lauren Glowienka and Alisha Bolc.

My favorite experience with the student interns is the Professional Development Forum that MLH hosts annually. This forum introduces current student interns to former interns currently working at MLH and current and former MLH administrative fellows. It affords student interns the opportunity to network with these professionals and obtain advice related to their resumes and cover letters, interviewing, the fellowship and job process, careers in health administration, their own career journeys and much more!

For more information about Summer Enrichment Program internships and host site opportunities: | (312) 422-2690