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Idaho State University forges partnership with Bingham Memorial; health informatics a recent Career Path Internship option

February 19, 2020

Idaho State University students are getting a new opportunity to work with the Electronic Health Record, thanks to the work of Velma Payne, Program Director of Health Informatics.

Payne, who was serving as the Career Path Internship director for the semester, worked with Bingham Memorial to draw up a CPI agreement that would allow students to work at the hospital while being paid by the university.

“It has been difficult to get health care organizations to sign the CPI agreements due to the requirement they carry liability insurance on students,” Payne said. “So the fact that the CPI agreements have been recently signed by two health care organizations is pretty exciting.”

The second organization is Steele Memorial Medical Center, located in Salmon. One of Payne’s students shadowed the director of clinical informatics. Payne contacted Jeanie Gentry, the CEO of the hospital, who was more than happy to begin working on a partnership.

Later, after the hospital and ISU legal worked together, the CPI agreement was signed.

“I am really happy to see these pathways open up so that my health informatics students can get paid for gaining real-world experience associated with their intended career,” Payne said.

Richard Ashcraft, father of five, completed his Masters of of Science degree in health informatics, and was hired on to Bingham Memorial in the Clinical Informatics Department thanks to his experience through the CPI program and the partnership with Bingham.

"Richard has been a great asset to our team,” wrote his supervisor in an email to Payne. “It has been a pleasure having Richard with our team over the last few months. He brings a great perspective that has helped us in many of our decisions."

The Career Path Internship program began at Idaho State in 2010. It was designed specifically to give students real-world experience in their chosen career field, something extremely beneficial to their academic career. Additionally, these internships also provide the student with a unique opportunity to develop transferable skills that are difficult to develop outside of a workplace environment.

“Signed CPI agreements with healthcare organizations such as SMMC and BMH results in a win-win for everyone,” Payne said. “It benefits ISU students, expands the CPI program, and brings deserved attention to this great program within the community.”