Project SEARCH interns graduate from River Falls Area Hospital program

For more information, contact: Rachel Seroka,

RIVER FALLS, Wis. 5/25/2018  A group of eight Project SEARCH interns from River Falls, Baldwin, Prescott, Osceola and Hudson will complete the program on Thursday, May 31, at 3 p.m., in a graduation ceremony on the Allina Health River Falls campus. The international internship program for people age 18-25 with disabilities, now in its third year, aims to help interns secure employment after high school graduation.

Project SEARCH was held in River Falls for the first time in the 2015-2016 school year as a partnership between the host site — River Falls Area Hospital, part of Allina Health — and community partners supporting the student interns: Bridge for Community Life, River Falls and Ellsworth school districts, TMG, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and Inclusa.

Students participated in three rotations of approximately three months each during the school year, working in hospital departments including Nutrition Services, Emergency Department, Housekeeping, Environmental Services, Medical-Surgical Unit, Administration and more.

“Project SEARCH provides interns an opportunity to gain skills and confidence to pursue employment. They are then able to experience a daily sense of accomplishment, having social interactions and friendships — what we all look for in our work lives,” said Cynthia Bayer, quality manager and the River Falls Area Hospital Project SEARCH liaison. “We welcome employees of all abilities on our campus and are impressed every day by the initiative and passion our interns show in their daily work.”

Project SEARCH will continue for a fourth year at River Falls Area Hospital in September. For more details on the program, contact Fabreann Buffington at 715-307-6023 or fabreann.buffington@rfsd.k12.wi.us.

About Allina Health

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 11 hospitals, 15 retail pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, home oxygen and medical equipment and emergency medical transportation services.

Related resources

project search interns
The 10 Project SEARCH interns from the 2017-2018 program who will graduate May 31: Chantel Lohmeier (Baldwin, Wis.), Joseph Wakeen (Baldwin, Wis.), Indigo Eastman (Prescott, Wis.), Makinzie Miller (Osceola, Wis.), Jared Perez (Hudson, Wis.), Rachel Estes (Hudson, Wis.), Tyon Burch (River Falls, Wis.), Ashley Hove (River Falls, Wis.).