Kristen Garrity - New York

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Internship location:  New York, N.Y.
Career goal: To be involved in improving the U.S. health care system because the health of future populations greatly depends on innovative solutions that modify the current rules and processes

Internship summary:
My largest project focused on small businesses in New York City and health insurance. I developed two one-page fact sheets which can be downloaded from the NYC Health Insurance Link website and will be distributed by the Office of Citywide Health Insurance Access (OCHIA) staff at outreach events. I also tracked state health insurance trends and used data from the U.S. Census Bureau to identify characteristics of businesses in New York City. In addition, I summarized articles and proposed rules that were released this summer regarding the role of small businesses in the health insurance exchanges, which are expected to be functioning by January 2014.

Value of experience:  
My summer internship at OCHIA, which is part of New York City’s Human Resources Administration, gave me a much better understanding of how city government works and, specifically, how the work done by one small, yet ambitious, office within a city agency can impact policy on a state and even federal level. The variety of projects I worked on allowed me to improve my critical thinking, writing and research skills. I also directly witnessed the implementation of health care reform. 

Best moment:
I had the opportunity to present my summary and analysis of one of the more controversial reports regarding the effect health care reform may have on employer-sponsored health insurance directly to the commissioner of the New York City Human Resources Administration, who had inquired about the report’s potential implications in the city.