Academics: Special Academic Programs and Offerings

Dignity Health Scholars at Spelman

Student Profiles: The Health Careers Program's Dignity Health Scholars

Dignity Health believes in the excellence and importance of Spelman College and its mission to provide high-quality education to women of color.  To demonstrate its support, Dignity Health is in its third year partnership with Spelman’s Health Careers Program. 

The financial support provided will be used to fund a branded initiative that will:  attract, engage and prepare Spelman students, (especially those from California, Arizona and Nevada) for careers in health, allied health and healthcare administration; enhance their exposure to the many career options in these fields; and expand current opportunities to engage with executives and leading professionals within the health care industry.

The funds are used for scholarships, internships, and international service trips.  Additionally, some funds are to provide infrastructure support for the campus community to engage with Dignity Health representatives at Research Day. This summer, four Dignity Health Scholars from Spelman are involved in internships in California and Arizona. 

Sierra Blanchard is a rising junior pre-med Biology major.  She was selected as a summer intern at Mercy Hospital Folsom (MSH) located in California, through the partnership between Dignity Health and Spelman College Health Careers Program.  The goal of the program is to foster an interest in health-related careers among women of color and to support exploration of the many career paths available within the field.

At Spelman, Sierra is involved in several organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity and the National Society if Collegiate Scholars.  She has just been inducted in the Alpha Epsilon Delta Health Pre-Professional Honor Society.  As a future healthcare professional, Sierra hopes to work with children of all ages. While at MHF, Sierra will assist Ester Munoz and others on several components of the “No Harm Campaign” and will present her experience to corporate leaders in San Francisco at the end of July.

Olivia McReynolds and Tara Martin are summer interns at the California Hospital Medical Center (CHMC) in Los Angeles, CA.   Both Spelman College students were selected to participate as 2013 Dignity Health Interns. The goal of the program is to foster an interest in health-related careers among women of color and to support exploration of the many career paths available within the field. In addition, these summer internships expand current opportunities for our young women to engage with executives and leading professionals within the healthcare industry. 

Olivia McReynolds is a rising senior pre-med Biology major. She has participated in Spelman’s Research Day for two consecutive years. She also spent last summer in Madrid, Spain conducting research on protein crystal structures and learning a bit of Spanish. She mentors high-school students from inner-city Atlanta and aspires to be a research-focused pediatrician.






Tara Martin
, who became a Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN) while in high school, is a rising senior pre-med Biology major. She is a member of the Student Health Associates and Peer Educators (SHAPE) at Spelman College where she promotes good health among the college’s students and the community. Tara enjoys volunteering at Grady Hospital, GiGi’s Playhouse-Down Syndrome Awareness Centers and other Atlanta-based organizations.

Under the supervision of Sallie Weems, Director of Graduate Medical Education, Olivia and Tara will be working on key hospital projects which they will present to corporate leaders in San Francisco at the end of July. Congratulations to Dignity Health, for providing support to Olivia McReynolds and Tara Martin and helping them learn about healthcare careers during their two- months at CHMC.

Bianka Maria Charity has joined the IT Business Solutions Center (BSC) team as a summer intern from the program between Dignity Health and Spelman College. Bianka is working with Cheryl Carswell and Brenna Yaekle, under Diane Gorham. She is interested in understanding the ‘behind the scenes’ work related to providing clinical care and is learning about key efforts related to HIPAA, EMR and other IT work. The focus of her internship is to help the BSC team capture business process flows from large IT projects and translate them into Enterprise Architect, a tool being piloted by the BSC to help track process flows and business requirements.

Bianka is finalizing graduate career plans to pursue a Doctorate in either Clinical or Industrial/Organizational Psychology and is currently a junior Psychology major/Comparative Women’s Studies minor at Spelman College in Atlanta. Bianka is a current member of the Spelman College Ethel Waddell Githii Honors Program, the Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society for First-Year Students (ALD) and the National Society for Collegiate Scholars, among other accomplishments.

Charity says,  “I am very grateful for the Spelman College Health Careers Program and for a wonderful team of Dignity Health co-workers, including both my sponsor and mentor.  I cannot wait to see what my eight-week internship has to offer in its full entirely!”