Avera McKennan Human Resources

Jenna Johnson (Class of 2007) Avera McKennan Hospital is a member of Avera Health, a regional healthcare family of more than 229 facilities in the five-state region of South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota. Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls is recognized for its excellence in behavioral health, cancer care, cardiac care, and orthopedics, to name a few. As part of my business degree at Augustana College, I had that opportunity to intern in the human resources department of this well known organization. Throughout my experience I was able to shadow different areas within the human resources department, assist in interviews, and perform reference checks. Overall, my internship was an excellent experience that has given me great insight into a career in human resources.

Kristen Wohlrabe (Class of 2007) I interned with Avera McKennan in the Human Resources Department. My site supervisor was Christa Henderson, Director of Network Human Resources. During my 160-hour internship, I worked on numerous projects related to Human Resources and Compensation/Benefits. On a regular basis, I made reference checks, scheduled interviews, mailed rejection letters, and tracked employee files. I attended employee seminars for new employees, orientations for various benefit and compensation plans, a health initiative, iCare, for Service Excellence and Process, and a results session for the Employee Opinion Survey. For the months of August and September, I was the sole writer of the Avera McKennan Human Resources section of the monthly newsletter. This gave me the opportunity to use my creative writing skills. Some of the highlights of my internship were the two occasions I traveled with Christa and other Human Resources personnel to Pipestone, MN. The first time was to complete the MN HR Audit Tool and the second occasion was to sit in on the interview process for the CEO position. What an experience! Throughout the internship, I was able to build relationships with several individuals working within the Human Resources Department and also put to work the sills I have learned at Augustana studying Business Administration and Sociology. I strongly encourage anyone interested in Human Resources or Healthcare Administration to check out Avera McKennan. It is an excellent place to spend a 160-hour internship!

Megan Houck (Class of 2006) An internship in the Avera McKennan Human Resources department provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn all aspects of HR. Avera is a healthcare organization based in Sioux Falls with more than 100 facilities providing healing based on Christian values. I was exposed to HR specialist roles in areas of recruitment and employment, compensation and benefits, and employee relations, as well as generalized roles in the region. I worked on projects, such as an employee orientation packet, posting job positions with area universities, completing reference checks and assisting with a compensation audit. I would recommend this internship to anyone considering HR as a profession and am extremely thankful to the HR department at Avera for allowing me to do my internship with them.

Paul Varcoe (Class of 2003) I have always loved healthcare and wanted to make a difference in it. Human resources have always been of interest to me and I have also been curious to know what purchasing for a hospital is like. I chose to go to Avera McKennan Hospital and received a wonderful opportunity to do my internship with them in their human resource and purchasing departments. I was assigned to work under Kim Enebo who is the Director of Compensation and Benefits. Throughout my time with them, I got to work on multiple projects from salary surveys to putting together a marketing piece for their in-house credit union. I also got the opportunity to go out to a regional hospital in Milbank, South Dakota where I observed how the human resources work out there. The other area of my internship was the purchasing department. I got the opportunity to experience every area within the department. After I worked in every area I was given the freedom to choose what area I wanted to get more experience in. Throughout my time with them I learned to do purchase orders, requisitions, converting requisitions to purchase orders, receiving and I got the opportunity to observe Jon Crow work on a large ongoing project with the new Doctor’s Plaza, where he has been given a budget to purchase equipment and furniture for it. I was also given the opportunity to go out of town to some of the regional hospitals owned by Avera McKenan Hospital to see how things work with them. I had a wonderful internship with Avera McKennan Hospital. Every person in both departments I worked in welcomed me the minute I walked in the door. I was respected as a professional within both departments and I was entrusted my supervisors and co-workers to do the projects assigned accurately and in a timely fashion. I was even invited by my co-workers to be on a tubing team to race against other teams for the Media One Fun Ski Benefit at Great Bear Ski Park. I would highly recommend this internship to anybody interested in either human resources or purchasing.