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Reading Hospital Welcomed a New Class of High School Interns

by Reading Hospital - Tower Health

Sep 12, 2023

For nearly a decade, Reading Hospital has partnered with local high schools to help expose high school students to the many career pathways that healthcare has to offer.

On Monday, Sept. 11, Reading Hospital welcomed 29 high school interns as part of the Reading Hospital High School Internship Program. Twenty-six students will participate in a full-year internship, while three will participate during the spring semester.

The program will host students from 12 local Berks County school districts, including Antietam, Boyertown, Conrad Weiser, Exeter Township, Fleetwood, Muhlenberg, Oley Valley, Reading, Schuylkill Valley, Tulpehocken, Wilson, and Wyomissing school districts. This is the first year that students from Antietam, Boyertown, Schuylkill Valley, Tulpehocken, and Wyomissing School Districts will be participating.

This year’s interns will work in a variety of clinical and non-clinical disciplines, including Nursing, Cardiology, Children’s Health Center, Emergency Department, Labor & Delivery, Oncology, Center for Public Health, and McGlinn Cancer Institute, among others. Students will complete approximately 300 hours of work in their assigned department during their internship.

Desha Dickson, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Wellness at Tower Health, said, “September is an exciting month for us because it’s when we welcome our new interns to Reading Hospital and get to expose them to all the moving parts that make a healthcare system function. We value education and growth within our system and strive to share that knowledge with our community through the various programs and opportunities available with us.”

In addition to working in their department, interns will participate in a variety of educational workshops to build their professional skill set. The interns will explore areas such as financial literacy, resume writing and mock interviews, and healthcare career roundtables.

To date, 88 students have participated in the program, and approximately 30% of students remain engaged with Reading Hospital after graduation. Fourteen students participated in job shadowing experiences, three participated in the College Internship Program, and 12 returned to Reading Hospital for employment. Last year, all 30 graduates of the program planned to pursue higher education, and 29 are pursuing a career in healthcare.

“We are thrilled to welcome another class of interns to Reading Hospital,” said Charles F. Barbera, MD, Reading Hospital president and CEO. “Throughout the year, our interns will have the opportunity to explore the many career pathways of healthcare through real-world, hands-on learning experiences. I would like to express my sincerest thanks to the students for their commitment and dedication to the health and wellness of our community, and to all the team members and departments that work to make the internship program such a success.”

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 has been named one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals in 2022 and 2023. For more information, visit

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