Faith-based universities receive grant to fund health care internship

By Genie Funk, Guest writer

The Consortium of Oklahoma Faith-Based Universities has partnered with the Butterfield Memorial Foundation to establish the 2013 Christian Pre-Healthcare Provider Internship. This is a six-week internship for students who are pursuing a health care career.

The recipients will work with faith-based clinics in Oklahoma City which service at-risk residents. The purpose behind establishing this internship is to encourage graduating health care providers to serve the growing number of Oklahomans who cannot receive health care through traditional means.

The Consortium of Oklahoma Faith-Based Universities is a partnership of five faith-based universities in Oklahoma who work together to enhance collaboration in increasing Christian health care professionals and accessibility to health care in Oklahoma. Members of the Consortium are Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma Christian University, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Oral Roberts University, and Southern Nazarene University. Of the 24 applicants, one intern from each university was chosen with the sixth intern chosen from the remaining candidates.

Amanda Six, a junior in the School of Nursing, was surprised when she received the email from the Consortium announcing her selection for the 2013 internship. When asked her feelings regarding the selection, Six stated, “I feel thankful and blessed that I have the opportunity to serve Christ and the at-risk populations of Oklahoma while gaining valuable shadowing experience  in the field I am pursuing.“

After undergraduate graduation from SNU in 2015, Six plans to continue on to a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Sciences through the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City.

Southern Nazarene University’s (SNU) campus will host the interns from May 20 to June 28. During that time, the six interns will rotate between three medical clinics in the Oklahoma City area which serve residents who can either not afford insurance or can’t get coverage.

Crossings Community Clinic, Open Arms Clinic and Good Shepherd Clinic will be working together with Professor Deanne Latham of SNU to establish a rotation schedule for the interns. Interns will rotate between clinics, assisting the medical staff by providing basic clinic needs and shadowing medical providers.

The rotation schedule provides the greatest exposure to the diverse variety of people who are served at the clinics. In addition to clinical hours, the interns will be attending the Institute for International Medicine (INMED) Conference in Kansas City. Dr. Winslow, Program Coordinator and Dean of SNU’s College of Natural, Social and Health Sciences, believes that this internship will be a benefit to the students as well as the clinics. He is hopeful that the program will be able to continue and expand to other Oklahoma cities in future summers.

The idea of the internship evolved from a desire of members of the Butterfield Foundation who wanted to establish an internship focused on encouraging young Christians in healthcare education toward practice in Christian and charitable care settings in Oklahoma City and throughout the state. John Martin of the Butterfield Foundation believes that the internship is the best opportunity for students to discover they can serve God in Oklahoma by providing access to quality healthcare.

The Butterfield Memorial Foundation is a Christian charitable organization serving the health needs of the community in harmony with the tenets of the Free Methodist Church of North America. Funding for the 2013 Summer Christian Pre-Healthcare Provider Internships is provided through a $10,000 grant issued to SNU, for the benefit of the Consortium of Faith-Based Universities, by the Butterfield Memorial Foundation.