HomeLatest NewsMember NewsSDAHO Welcomes Rise-Up Intern Swetha Kalapatapu

SDAHO Welcomes Rise-Up Intern Swetha Kalapatapu

The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) is excited to introduce one of two summer interns for the summer of 2024. Swetha Kalapatapu is in her final year of college at the University of Connecticut where she is an Allied Health Sciences major with a minor in Spanish and a concentration in public health and health promotion.

Swetha is part of the MCHC Rise-Up internship program, which brings together college students who are interested in public health. Swetha learned about the program through the CDC website. “I knew I wanted to spend my summer doing something in the public health field and serving others. The Rise Up program is a great opportunity to expand my horizons and learn about the field of public health from highly accomplished individuals.”

Swetha was born and raised in New York, growing up 35 minutes outside of New York City in Westchester County. Swetha said when she learned she would be doing her internship in South Dakota she was excited and scared at the same time. “I was honestly so happy to have been chosen for the internship but I was terrified to move to South Dakota for 8 weeks. Being born and raised in New York and spending time on the Connecticut coastline I was a little afraid to be landlocked in a more rural area.” Swetha said, after coming to South Dakota and meeting with the SDAHO team and other members of her internship program, the warm energy and friendliness of everyone melted away all of her fears.

Stationed in Sioux Falls, Swetha is working on a variety of projects while with SDAHO, including authoring a few white papers regarding our states EMS crisis and hospital property tax issues. In addition, Swetha is collaborating on a palliative care directory to be used as a future resource for SDAHO members. Swetha says while in South Dakota she also hopes to learn more about rural health and tribal health. “I hope to learn more about rural health in general especially when coming from a more urban area, the difference in lifestyle and access to care is so interesting to me. I would also love to learn more about advocacy and policy work in the healthcare field. Coming to SDAHO is allowing me to explore a different side of healthcare I have not yet experienced.”

Swetha will earn her undergraduate degree after this year but will remain at the University of Connecticut because she is part of their accelerated master’s in public health program. Her ultimate goal is to become a physician working in the public health and advocacy space to help create better access to healthcare. Swetha says, as a physician she also wants to use her skills to help patients in all aspects of their life, not just their physical wellbeing.

When Swetha is not attending school or working, she enjoys doing anything that involves water. “Growing up on the beach, I love the water and water activities. In addition, Swetha enjoys exercising, trying new restaurants and recipes and creating pottery.

SDAHO is excited to have Swetha Kalapatapu as a Rise-Up Intern.

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