IOWA CITY — Jeremy Marks still keeps in contact with his co-workers from his internships abroad in Cape Town, Beijing and Shanghai last summer.
Thanks to that communication, Marks, a 2018 University of Iowa graduate, said he knows the hospital programs he developed while working in those cities are still in use today. Marks’ projects, particularly a medical equipment registry for the New Somerset Hospital system, earned him finalist status for the 2018 Global Citizen of the Year award from the internship program IES Abroad.
“If you imagine all the equipment that goes through a hospital, you would think there’d be some sort of inventory of it,” Marks said. “When I got there really was no method of keeping track of where everything was. So a surgeon was going to be doing a procedure and they’d need a scalpel ... the scalpel wouldn’t be there.”
The Global person of the Year award is reserved for students who show a “significant impact through philanthropic, academic, or personal efforts,” according to a media release.
Marks, a 23-year-old Naperville, Ill., native, earned a business administration degree and an international business certificate. Before last summer’s work, he also studied languages abroad in both France and Germany.
“Both of those experiences had a decent, significant impact on my life and I feel like they changed me quite a bit. So I knew that the summer going in between completing my undergraduate and going to grad school, I wanted to do something with the time,” Marks said.
So when Marks landed in South Africa, he began developing his new system for the hospital, which essentially requires employees checking out equipment going from one floor to another by giving a nurse manager a reason and a return time.
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“It seems pretty self-explanatory, but when you’re able to look at a process and a system from an outside-the-box context, I feel like you’re able to see easier what could be done to improve instead of being in the day-to-day everyday,” Marks said.
Marks was one of three finalists for the award, with the winner being Breana Ross from the University of Miami. In addition to his equipment management program, Marks also developed a program to secure shipments of food and prevent it from being stolen from New Somerset Hospital’s kitchen.
Marks currently is a graduate student at Rush University, studying for a health systems management master’s degree.
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