Last winter, Neha Sahni Gaur '04 approached her former teacher, now Associate Head of School, Rob Mather with an idea. As the senior director of inpatient operations and cancer care at Boston Medical Center (BMC), Gaur was in the position to offer a paid internship that she hoped would open doors for a young woman at Dana Hall. She presented the opportunity to rising juniors and seniors via a January Zoom meeting. “I have some time before my children reach the age of applying for internships and jobs,” Gaur said. “And in that time, I want to be proactive in making the America I wish to describe to my children. I want to tell my children that if they work hard, they will have an endless number of doors to choose from.”
A number of students applied for the position, and G. Funes '22, who is applying to nursing schools in the fall with an eye towards becoming a NICU nurse, was selected by the BMC team after submitting a resume, writing two essays and interviewing with a committee. She worked primarily in the Hematology/Oncology Department. There, she completed a Cancer Center Time Study to better understand a patient’s journey in the clinic. She collected data by shadowing staff in the clinic, and measuring the time of each step of a patient’s visit. She created a Gantt chart to visualize patient waiting times and help pinpoint where improvements can be made.
She also conducted an analysis on inpatient capacity and constraints on daily flow. She created a graph to articulate the supply and demand of physician team spots. “I learned a lot of tips and tricks for using Excel,” noted Funes, who also gained experience using Powerpoint, Word, Canva and the NRC Health system. She worked to craft a Hematology/Oncology Handbook for new department faculty, providing a condensed resource for faculty and fellows to use during their onboarding process. Additionally, she attended a meeting of the department’s newly formed Anti-Racism Committee. Drawing on her experience in Dana Hall’s multicultural clubs and student diversity leadership training, she shared her knowledge and proposed a new way for the department to approach affinity group spaces.
Funes may have been most excited about the full day she spent in the NICU. “I was super happy to be there, and it was a very helpful experience for me,” she said. “I was able to shadow nursing rounds and gained exposure to what a day of a NICU nurse actually looks like and what specialized care for patients consists of.” She later spent a half day in the Pediatric Clinic, and then was able to compare her NICU experience with the outpatient side of nursing.
“I am so impressed with Genesis, who is so composed and professional that it’s hard to believe she’s still in high school,” said BMC’s Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Nancy Gaden, DNP, RN, at the conclusion of Funes’ presentation to her colleagues and advisors. “She completed some real work that was very valuable to our organization.”
“I think I grew as a collaborator while taking on different projects, and I improved my communication skills while working on projects from different areas — data, administrative, clinical,” said Funes. “I’m super grateful.”
"My favorite Dana Hall memory would be the first time I ever sang the Alma Mater with my fellow classmates. That was most definitely the first time I felt like I was truly a part of something. Joining hands with my future Silver Sisters made me truly feel like I was a Dana girl."