Spanish major provides essential translating services in clinical healthcare during APEX Fellowship

Maggie Stieby '25

Maggie Stieby ’25 spent her summer as an APEX fellow with the Viola Startzman Clinic, helping to analyze and strengthen the clinic’s resources for the Spanish-speaking population in Wayne County from a healthcare perspective. Stieby, who is originally from Fort Thomas, Kentucky, studies Spanish at The College of Wooster. She is completing a public health pathway and recently declared a biology minor. Her position allowed her to dive into this experience with the guidance of Ally Owens, the program coordinator at Viola Startzman Clinic. Along the way, Stieby brushed up on valuable skills, such as patient interaction, confidence in Spanish speaking skills, and leadership. She says that this experience showed her how much she’d like to work in clinical healthcare, as well as her hope to continue working with Spanish speaking patients in the future.

“I was part of an incredible atmosphere at the clinic, and I learned a lot! I want to work as a nurse practitioner in the future, so it is important that I understand the challenges many patients encounter when trying to find care.”

—Maggie Stieby ’25

Maggie Stieby '25

How did you learn about the internship opportunity for your APEX Fellowship?  

“I discovered this opportunity at the Viola Startzman Clinic by looking at previous students’ experiences. I saw that the clinic was local to campus and would allow me to learn more about my interests in both healthcare and Spanish. It was the perfect match!”

What interests you most about the work you did? What were some of the things you did each day? 

“I was working predominantly with the Spanish-speaking population in Wayne County. I helped translate for patients at appointments, conducted outreach and planned events, helped teach an English class in Orrville, and so much more. I really enjoy researching healthcare accessibility and looking for ways to bridge gaps in the system. I want to work as a nurse practitioner in the future, so it is important that I understand the challenges many patients encounter when trying to find care.”

Who was your mentor and how did they help you to succeed in this position? 

“Ally Owens was my mentor, and she gave me daily tasks as well as introduced me to everyone and everything at the clinic. She answered any questions I had and always gave me support. She was also an intern at the clinic when she was in college, so it was really enjoyable to work with someone who has been in my shoes!”

What are some skills you’ve learned that you see yourself carrying forward in your career? 

“I greatly improved my confidence with Spanish, gained more knowledge regarding the administrative side of healthcare, practiced skills for interacting with patients, shadowed procedures, and improved my communication and leadership skills.”

How has the internship helped you to see what’s next for you?   

“I now know that I really want to pursue the clinical side of healthcare. After Wooster, I hope to go to nursing school and eventually work in a setting where I can help serve underrepresented populations. Ideally, I would work with a high volume of Spanish-speaking patients.”

Posted in Experiential Learning on August 16, 2023.

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