GCRC Summer Internship 2013

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GCRC Summer Internship 2013

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The Latino Internship in Health Disparities Research is a six-week training program that focuses on educating our interns from under-represented populations to develop and strengthen their professional and research skills that address critical stages in health disparities. During the program they have different activities, lectures, workshops, and meetings. This year we had five GCRC students, from the SEPA program, who were part of the program, whom included:  Jehieli Arteta, Malissa Bray, Benjamin Cossio Rios, Gabriela Garcia, and Natalie Villanueva. Each of them was given a topic to research on and developed a poster presentation that they presented on the last day of the internship to various staff throughout the hospital, family members, and representatives of different organizations.

The internship program started out with compliance training for the interns at Dykes Library. After two days of training, interns were brought to the offices in which they were guided to their working areas. The same day they were able to meet their mentors and, as well, they were introduced to the staff at Juntos and Dr. Ana Paula Cupertino. Above all, the interns were welcomed in and introduce to the expectations for the summer. The following week, the interns had a campus tour of KU Medical Center and were able to go on a scavenger hunt by themselves to explore and get acquainted with the campus. Alongside these entertaining activities, the interns were introduced more in-depth to health disparities with lectures, views on documentaries, and literature review.  Their literature review focused on their main research topics since, during that same week, they were able to meet with Dr. Ana Paula Cupertino and their mentors and deduce a topic they would like to work on during the duration of the internship.


Jehieli Arteta’s topic was Use of Alternative Folk Medicine as a Culturally Appropriate Health Care Option For Latinos, her mentor was Yazmin Reyna. Jehieli’s project focused on folk medicine and the usage of these medicines among the Latino population.



Malissa Bray’s poster was about The Knowledge and Opinions on Cancer Clinical Trials Among Latinos in Wyandotte Community. She focused on the knowledge that Wyandotte County’s residents had on clinical trials and the availability of being part of it.



Benjamin Cossio’s project was Waterway brings Wyandotte County one step closer to healthier living. He wanted to analyze the impact o of Waterway Park on physical activity. Both Malissa’s and Benjamin’s mentors were Johana Bravo and Diosselyn Tot.



Gabriela Garcia’s focus was on Informed Decision Making for Breast Cancer Screenings Among Latinas (Assessing Knowledge & Intention), her mentor was Mariana Ramirez. She analyzed the knowledge Latina women had on breast cancer and the resources available for them to get information and be able to increase the intention of getting a mammography annually.

Natalie Villanueva’s project was on Informing of Diabetes Type 2 to the Latino Population of Wyandotte County in Order to Increase Awareness and Prevention; her mentors were Dulce Alejandrez and Alejandro Gutierrez. Her intervention was on type 2 diabetes by getting information out to people and letting them know of the risk factors and symptoms.

Overall the intern’s responses to their expectations were great. They were all willing to learn and participate. When taken to the Frida Kahlo’s Exhibition at Nelson Atkins Museum, the interns were thrilled to learn and explore the different arts from different cultures. Also, when taken on the Wyandotte County Field Trip, the interns showed enthusiasm and curiosity on learning what the County has to offer and learning about the many resources that are available all around them. In spite of all this, we saw the interns skills improve each and every day. And above all these required lectures and workshops, they were also working with other interns to present a multicultural event that welcomed and celebrated multiple ethnicities. They’re talents were amazing and they all showed their personalities through their work and collaboration during the internship.

By Diosselyn Tot

Summer Internship Assistant Coordinator

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