Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Middlesex Hospital’s progressive internship leads to jobs for adults with special needs

Middlesex Hospital’s progressive internship leads to jobs for adults with special needs

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — For the past two years, Middlesex Hospital has been part of a progressive model, offering internships to young adults with special needs.

“I like how I interact with the different people I meet every day,” said Nick Gibertoni, who works in transportation at the hospital.

The 24-year-old with special needs has worked hard throughout his life to overcome challenges.

“The doctors told my mother when I was born that I would never be able to walk or ride a bike,” he said.

And now he succeeds.

Two years ago, he was an intern at the hospital as part of a program called “Project Search,” which is run by MARC Community Resources, providing services to adults with developmental disabilities.

“It’s a nine-month program where they do three rotations in different departments, working side-by-side with hospital employees, learning that department, learning those skills,” said Melissa Davison-Wood, President and CEO of MARC Community Resources.

“We’ve had interns in probably a dozen different departments from our diet office, linen department, pharmacy, physical rehab,” said Chris Crouch, who works for the hospital.

Brianna Stange loves her work in the cafeteria, where she is busy with important details such as the dietary needs of the beneficiaries.

“Mostly I’m passing the trays,” she said.

Often an internship becomes a job.

“Out of the 14 interns, we currently have 13 of those interns employed here in 10 different departments,” Crouch said.

Interns take part in training before starting their rotation and then have to apply for jobs at the hospital just like everyone else.

Gibertoni – who shares their charm and social skills with those around her – hopes to work at the hospital for many years to come.

Seven more interns will start at the hospital in the fall, and MARC Community Resources is looking to expand the program to work with even more companies.

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