As a child, Karla Gonzalez ’24 was not afraid of the hospital. She had Ellen — her nurse, role model and confident — who brought her toys, kept her spirits lifted and always included her family.
"I looked up to her. I wanted to be like her," said Gonzalez, a psychology major who has von Willebrand Disease, a bleeding disorder that restricts blood from clotting properly, causing her to bruise easily and undergo routine blood testing.
Growing up, Gonzalez dreamt of becoming a nurse or a pediatrician. This summer, she is moving closer to that goal by participating in the Summit program, a new partnership between Holy Cross and the UMass Chan Medical School, in which students intern at the medical school and UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center to learn about pediatric clinical research and patient care first-hand.
"Being part of the internship and working with [Nurse Practitioner] Lauren [Fortier] opens up a lot of avenues for me. This is my first experience with clinical research and shadowing in a hospital setting, and it’s showing me a different aspect of pediatrics than I knew," Gonzalez said.