Disregarding the Red Tape: Americares in Action

A company operating solely to help others in need in the quickest and most efficient way possible is rare. Americares is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and improving the health of people both domestically and internationally. This is primarily done by providing free clinics to those uninsured in Connecticut, setting up mobile health clinics in India and El Salvador, and responding to disasters abroad.

The conference room prior to an all-staff meeting

I am a human resources intern at the Americares headquarters in Stamford, CT. Although I am not on the front lines of reducing disparities, my job is to ensure that fair work policies are in place to aid the employees in their efforts to reduce healthcare inequalities and inequities. Specifically, my tasks include updating their employee handbook, presenting to my fellow interns on topics such as resumes and obstacles in the workplace through the Professional Development Series, and providing support to the Human Resources department. This may entail filing payroll forms and training certifications, providing feedback on the cloud data systems used in the office and how to make them more user-friendly, and communicating to the other interns about networking activities coming soon.

The mission of Americares is to save lives and improve health outcomes for people affected by poverty or disaster so they can reach their full potential. My work directly impacts this mission by providing policies that benefit employees and make their lives easier. For example, it can be very complicated to book flights for Americares employees looking to travel to a foreign country in need of support. If I can help to make traveling as well as other internal corporate affairs easier on the employees, policies will be better understood and employees may be more willing to be a part of the emergency response team. Understanding the employees at Americares and what policies would represent their best interests in the handbook also has the potential to make their work life easier while also increasing motivation, collaboration, and productivity. Therefore, the work I am doing directly impacts the mission of Americares by providing its employees with a positive yet firm structure at home so they can help others abroad.

By the summer’s end, I hope to get an in-depth look at the human resources department and its various functions. Prior to starting this internship, I also had an interest in healthcare and was not sure how to apply it, whether it was by pursuing a career in the field, getting a certification, or using my knowledge of health care for my own personal consumption. I am hoping that, through learning more about the different departments of the organization as well as talking to key stakeholders in the company, I learn more about possible health sectors I could be interested in. Most importantly, by summer’s end, I hope that the work I have contributed to Americares has made a difference in the lives of the employees and the good they are able to do.

Sadie-Rose Apfel