Improving the Health of the City

The opportunity for an affordable education continues to grow in New Haven with more than 1,000 Promise qualifiers in the last three years alone. And with that growth, more and more students — raised within miles of one of the nation’s best hospitals — are expressing interest in the field of healthcare.

“When students are seniors in high school, we ask them what field of study they are interested in,” said Promise President Patricia Melton. “Not all of them provide an answer, but more than 150 have listed a health-related interest in the last three years, including an all-time high of 61 in the cohort of 2019.”

Just a slice of the 2018 Promise interns at Yale New Haven Hospital at a summer farewell reception

The vast majority of those interested in healthcare are specifically interested in nursing and Yale New Haven Hospital — one of the key funders of New Haven Promise — has also created essential paid internships, more than 30 in the last three years, giving stellar students the chance to get a significant jump on the competition in the job market.

“The internship has allowed us to see things we may want to think about when exploring the career and where we see ourselves in the hospital,” said UConn senior Dazjia Green. “Even getting acquainted with some of the tasks that we may not have known we would have been doing.”

And in April, the City of New Haven was greeted with the exciting news that the hospital was launching the largest healthcare investment in state history with a $838-million project for two new patient facilities and a focus on innovation in the neurosciences at the Saint Raphael campus.

The promise of even further opportunity for New Haven Promise scholars awaits as Yale New Haven Health has demonstrated — both in word and action — a commitment to being community minded. “Yale New Haven Health is the largest private employer in Connecticut and this project signals their focused desire to continue investing in our state,” said Governor Ned Lamont.

In evidence of that, last year’s Elm Award winner Cynthia Lowman, a career counselor with the hospital, has done everything from curating and sharing career development resources to organizing college and career fairs throughout the year.

She runs both the School at Work program — which provides seven months of job training to YNHH employees — and the School to Career program — placing students from four New Haven Public High Schools into year-long internships. Not only do these positions support the hospital’s needs, they are designed to expand the students’ interview and professional skills.

It is easy to see that healthcare will continue to be a shining light in New Haven… And the students in the city will undoubtedly have significant contributions to that long into the future.