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History

26 Years of Service

History

The internship program that has become Health Career Connection was founded in 1990 by a small group of healthcare executives who were inspired by their own experience participating in a similar internship program, and later committed themselves to empowering young people to pursue health careers and to increasing diversity in the health professions.

Over the past 26 years, HCC has grown to a national organization operating in 9 regions. In all regions, college students are provided opportunities to gain invaluable exposure, experience and mentoring and to make a difference in their organizations and the local communities. Most, like the HCC Founders long ago, have life changing experiences that launch their careers and empower them to become successful health leaders and professionals.

Read the timeline to learn about the development of HCC from a small volunteer run organization to a national non-profit that supports over 350 students.

HCC Timeline

1990 - HCC FOUNDED AND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA PROGRAM LAUNCHED

Three of HCC four founders themselves had a life changing experience of having their health careers and graduate education opportunities launched by participation in the Fellowship Retention Program in Health Administration, a summer internship program sponsored by the Health Care Executives of Northern California and the UC Berkeley School of Public Health to increase diversity in health administration.

After the program funding ended in the late 1980, HCC Founders started HCC as a small Northern California summer internship program, based on the Fellowship Retention Program Model, and operated it on a volunteer basis until 2000.

2001 - BOSTON INTERNSHIP PROGRAM LAUNCHED

In 2000, while working as a health executive at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Jeff Oxendine, one of the Founders, found that there were significant needs for supporting students interested in health careers and increasing the diversity of health leaders and professionals in Boston. With the support and mentorship from Jeff Cook, then CEO of the Environmental Careers Organization and Jeff Otten, then CEO of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Jeff launched a Boston version of the internship program in 2001 and formed Health Career Connection, a national non profit with a comprehensive program to expand opportunities for students, impact health organizations, and increase health workforce diversity.

2002 - SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PROGRAM LAUNCHED

With the support of Dr. Mark Smith, President of The California Healthcare Foundation, HCC launched its Southern California Program in 2002.

2004 - NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY INTERNSHIP PROGRAM LAUNCH

HCC launched it New York and New Jersey Region in 2004. HCC partners with the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University to provide workshops and support to our interns. HCC also has longstanding partnerships with local organizations that made this regional launch and growth possible, including Montefiore Medical Center, Bellevue Hospital, New York Hospital and Healthcare Corporation, and New York State Health Foundation. We are honored to currently co-partner with the Bronx HOPE, based at Albert Einstein Medical College.

2008 - CENTRAL VALLEY CALIFORNIA PROGRAM LAUNCHED

HCC launched its Central Valley California Program in 2008, in partnership with the Central Valley Health Policy Institute in Fresno State’s Department of Health Science to operate the Central Valley Region. We also partner and work closely with the Latino Center for Medical Education and Research at UCSF Fresno and Cal State Fresno’s Health Careers Opportunity Program.

2010 - COACHELLA VALLEY CALIFORNIA PROGRAM LAUNCHED

HCC launched its Coachella Valley Regional Program in 2010 in partnership with the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership’s (CVEP) Workforce Excellence Division and Health Industry Council. 

2012 - NORTH CAROLINA PROGRAM LAUNCHED

In partnership with The North Carolina American Indian Health Board (NCAIHB), the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity (MACHE) at Wake Forest University, and the Southeast Public Health Training Center at the North Carolina Public Health Institute, HCC launched new internship region in North Carolina focused on addressing the health disparity needs of the American Indians in North Carolina in 2012.

2014 - WASHINGTON DC PROGRAM LAUNCHED

Health Career Connection launched the newest region in our nation’s capital, Washington DC in June 2014 with the support of The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Diversity and Inclusion Division.

2015 - LONG BEACH & ORANGE COUNTY PROGRAM LAUNCHED

With the support of James Irvine Foundation and The California Endowment, HCC launched the Long Beach & Orange County region.