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A NICU graduate returns for an impactful internship experience

Last Modified: February 23, 2024

People of Parkview


This post was written by Jasmine Olivares, intern, Advance Care Planning.

I was a Parkview NICU baby in 2001, delivered at 29 weeks. Now, I am a senior at Huntington University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work. After I chose my major, my mom shared with me the exceptional care she received from the social worker assigned to her while she was hospitalized at Parkview after delivering me and my sister. She raved about how kind the social worker was and how she was determined to help my mom with discharge plans, financial assistance after having twins in the NICU and post-discharge.

My mom’s experience after I entered the world inspires me now to serve as a helping hand and resource for others during difficult times in their lives. Her journey also demonstrated how many unknowns there are in life, for example, the potential health outcomes for my mom, myself and my sister during delivery and throughout our time in the NICU. It’s a perspective that highlights the importance of patient-centered medical care, something I know is highly valued at Parkview.

A learning opportunity

When it came time to select an organization for my internship, I was interested in Parkview because of its commitment to philanthropy, patient-centered care and community health efforts, providing care despite financial or social barriers.

When I left my interview with Advance Care Planning (ACP), I knew nothing else could match my excitement for this placement. ACP is a free service that encourages patients to put themselves in the driver's seat of their health to plan for future healthcare decisions and appoint a healthcare representative to enforce decisions should they be unable to communicate their own needs. This initiative makes a huge impact on patients' lives, encouraging independence, preparation, and reflection on what quality of life looks like for them.

Lessons learned

What surprised me the most was how simple it is to complete an advance directive. This simple process can take as little as an hour, but leaves a lasting impact on your life and the lives of those who love you most. Documenting my own advance directive empowered me to be in charge of my care, while also providing this gift to my loved ones.

Before this placement, I had no idea what an advance directive was. And even if I had, I likely wouldn’t have thought it was an exercise I needed to complete. Before this internship, I would have said, “I'm only 22, engaged and nearly a college graduate – my life is just beginning!” But this experience has given me a whole new perspective. I have learned that life is unexpected. An advance directive isn’t just for individuals who are ill or near death. An advance directive lists your values, beliefs and wishes. It’s an opportunity to make sure you are heard, no matter the circumstances.

Each day is not promised. You never know when you’ll receive an unexpected diagnosis or suffer an unlikely trauma. I’ve seen this with my family, learning of cancer diagnoses with my dad and grandparents. Completing the ACP process provides a sense of comfort and clear direction, during a time when other things might be out of your control.

Parkview proud

I love Parkview’s culture of generosity but was surprised to learn that this commitment extends beyond communities and applies to the staff as well. Parkview emphasizes the importance of mental and emotional health for all employees, which demonstrates that they truly care for their team members, like family.

Working with the ACP and Chaplaincy teams at Parkview has been a blessing. My supervisors,  Erica Downing, Chris Brinneman and Lydia Miller are all bold leaders who walk with me step by step to help me have the best experience and gain as much knowledge as possible in each field. Chris has wisdom beyond my comprehension. You can easily see her passion and heart for not only her work but also for the patients being greatly impacted by her efforts since implementing the ACP program at Parkview in 2016. Erica has been such an amazing mentor – always going the extra mile. She encourages me to get out of my comfort zone to experience new things and settings. She is eloquent, and graceful with those she’s working with or alongside. I can’t imagine this experience without Erica and Chris’ mentorship and knowledge. Anyone would be blessed to work with all three of these strong female leaders or to be a member of the Parkview family. I know I am.

Visit us online to explore the Student Learning Opportunities available at Parkview. If you are ready to start the Advance Care Planning process and would like assistance, call 260-266-1481 or email the team at


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