On Monday, September 12, Reading Hospital will welcome 30 high school interns, the largest class to date, as part of the Hospital team. Twenty-one students will participate in a full-year internship this year, five will participate during the fall semester, and four will participate during the spring semester.

The program will host students from Conrad Weiser, Exeter, Fleetwood, Governor Mifflin, Muhlenberg, Oley, Reading, Twin Valley, and Wilson school districts.

The interns will work in a variety of clinical and non-clinical disciplines, including Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Children's Health Center, Podiatry, Emergency Department, Labor & Delivery, Post Anesthesia Care Unit, Center for Public Health, Procedure Prep & Recovery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Radiation Oncology, and Genetic Counseling, among others.

During the internship, students will work approximately 300 hours in their assigned department. To be considered, each student must be an incoming senior, have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and have a good attendance and behavior record.

Additionally, interns participate in educational workshops dealing with personal and professional development, including financial literacy, resume writing, mock interviews, understanding the impact of social media on the workplace, and healthcare career roundtables.

In September 2014, Reading Hospital began the internship program to introduce local high school students to careers in healthcare. The inaugural class was made up of seven interns, all students at Reading High School.

Desha Dickson, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Wellness at Tower Health, said, “We are so proud of all the participants and graduates of our internship programs. These programs provide first-hand experience to the students and allow them the opportunity to see how teams across the hospital work together for the health of our patients and community. We’ve seen the positive impact this program can have and are fortunate to have graduates of the program come back and work at Reading Hospital.”

To date, 51 students have completed the program, with most having pursued higher education in healthcare-related fields. Eight student interns have since returned to Reading Hospital as interns or for employment.

Yomari Salvador-Rivera, a 2015-2016 Reading High School graduate of the internship program, knew she wanted to pursue a career in healthcare but didn’t know where to apply her focus. When she learned about the internship opportunity, she jumped at the chance. Through the program, she gained a wide variety of experience in different departments within the Hospital.

“I knew the internship program was an excellent way to access the healthcare field and that it may help me find my career path,” Ms. Salvador-Rivera shared. “The program had a significant impact on my college and career preparation. Working in several of departments meant my tasks and responsibilities changed and I was able to have a variety of experiences. As a result, I developed a passion for healthcare management, which I pursued in college.”

In June 2021, Ms. Salvador-Rivera joined the Community Wellness team at Reading Hospital, serving as the Program Coordinator for Street Medicine. She added, “My internship was a great experience for me. I worked with a lot of people that were passionate about what they do and it directly influenced me to return to Tower Health after college.”

“Educating tomorrow’s healthcare providers has always been a priority for Tower Health,” said Charles F. Barbera, MD, Reading Hospital President, and CEO. “I am proud of the internship program because it is changing lives. I’d like to express my sincerest thanks to the students for their commitment to the health of our community. Our participating team members are also to be commended for offering this unique hands-on learning that provides real-life experience in a high-quality healthcare facility. These interns have the opportunity to learn from some of the very best in the industry.” 


About Reading Hospital

Reading Hospital is the flagship, Magnet Recognized, acute care hospital of Tower Health. Located in West Reading, Pa., Reading Hospital is a 697-bed hospital that is home to many top-tier specialty care centers, including Reading HealthPlex, McGlinn Cancer Institute, Miller Regional Heart Center, Emergency Department, Level I Trauma Center, and Beginnings Maternity Center, which houses the region's only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). With more than 1,000 physicians, specialists, and advanced practice providers across 49 locations, Reading Hospital has been recognized for its quality outcomes and clinical expertise across service lines. It is listed as one of America's 100 Best Hospitals for four consecutive years (and moving up to America’s 50 Best Hospitals in 2022) and received a 5-Star Rating from CMS two years in a row. For more information, visit towerhealth.org

Reading Hospital