Meet the 2019 Summer Interns

Jaylon Holmes

Jaylon HolmesJaylon Holmes is a research associate intern for Essentia Health Heart and Vascular Center. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Art in Biology and Health Humanities at the College of Saint Scholastica, Duluth, MN. Jaylon grew up in Mountain Iron, MN, and is interested in pursuing a career in medicine because of his meaningful encounters with doctors and nurses throughout his high school sports career. He also has a passion for the human experience through health and wellness. During his internship at Essentia Health in 2019, he worked with Dr. Michael Mollerus MD, Electrophysiologist & Division Chair and Anne Meyer RN, NP-C, MSN, CCDS on a project titled, “Correlation of Atrial Events and CHA2DS2-VASc Score.” The primary reason he decided to participate in this program was to work with and learn from passionate medical practitioners. He believes that the research associate program has been vital in preparing him for a career in medicine because of the unique shadowing opportunities and discussions he has been able to have with employees and practitioners at Essentia.

Macaela Rudeck

Macaela RudeckMacaela Rudeck is a research associate for Essentia Health Heart and Vascular Center. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry with a focus in pre-medicine at the College of Saint Scholastica, Duluth, MN. Macaela grew up in northern Minnesota, but has lived the past 7 years in Esko, MN. She is interested in pursuing a career in medicine, with a hope to become a surgeon. This is because she wants to make a difference and help the people that some doctors may consider a “lost cause”. During her internship at Essentia Health in 2019, she worked with Dr. Wilson Ginete and Dr. Catherine Benziger on two projects, “Same day discharge versus next day discharge post percutaneous coronary intervention” and “RE-MI: predictors of readmission after myocardial infarction”.  The primary reason she decided to participate in this program was to become further exposed to the medical field and to learn as much as possible. She believes that the research associate program is crucial to prepare for her for a career in medicine. because she gains exposure to cases and builds her medical school application.

Sam Himes

Sam HimesSam Himes is a research associate intern for the Essentia Health Heart and Vascular Center. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at University of Minnesota, Duluth. Sam grew up in Plymouth, MN and has taken an interest in medicine because of his desire to provide care to others using scientific principles. During his internship at Essentia Health in 2019, he worked with Dr. Bishu on a project, "Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair at Essentia." Sam decided to participate in this program because of his desire to involve himself in medical research. He believes that the research associate position will solidly prepare him for a career in medicine because it offers a unique experience, a combination of shadowing, clinical research, and insightful introduction to the medical work environment.

Erik Engelsgjerd

Erik EngelsgjerdErik Engelsgjerd is a research associate for Essentia Health Heart and Vascular Center. He is currently a second-year medical student at Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA. Erik received a Bachelor of Art from Saint John's University in 2014 with a major in Biology. He grew up in Duluth, MN and has not decided on what medical specialty he is going to pursue in the future. During his internship at Essentia Health in 2019, he worked with Dr. Catherine Benziger on the "Validation of the Intermountain Risk Score to predict heart failure readmission and mortality", "Prevalence of severe hyperlipidemia in a large health care system", and "Development of a computer algorithm to identify transthyretin amyloidosis" projects. The primary reason he decided to participate in this program was his ongoing interest in cardiology and the desire to get involved in medical research. He believes that the internship program is vital to prepare for him for a career in medicine because of the medical exposure it provides and the opportunity to learn new things about the field of cardiology.

Katie Schmitz

Katie SchmitzKatie Schmitz is a medical student intern for Essentia Health Heart and Vascular Center. She is currently a medical student at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus. Katie grew up in Albertville, MN and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from College of Saint Benedict in 2017 with a major in biochemistry. After working in the medical field, she decided to pursue a career in medicine because it would allow her to help others and apply scientific knowledge.  During her internship at Essentia Health in 2019, she worked with Richard Mullvain on a project, "Characteristics and outcomes of patients with false-positive ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in a large rural health care system.” The primary reason she decided to participate in this program was to learn more about clinical research and cardiology. The internship provided her the opportunity to shadow and learn from physicians in the hospital setting. She believes that this early exposure to cardiology will be important when choosing a specialty. Moreover, the internship provided her the exciting opportunity to work on a research project that may help provide better care for patients in the future.

Nicole Groth

Nicole GrothNicole Groth is a research associate for Essentia Health Heart and Vascular Center. She will be applying to medical school after recently receiving her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Pre-medicine from the College of St. Scholastica in 2019. Nicole grew up in Walker, MN and is interested in pursuing a career in medicine because she has seen the impact that medicine has on people's lives across the globe and would like to continue to give to those in need. During her internship, she worked with Dr. Catherine Benziger on various projects, including "Prevalence of severe hyperlipidemia in a large health care system” and RE-MI: predictors of readmission after myocardial infarction.” The primary reason she decided to participate in this program was to gain more experience in the field of medicine and work in collaboration with physicians who are conducting research. She believes that the research associate program is crucial to her preparation for a career in medicine because it will offer her the opportunity to think like a physician and become comfortable with the logistics of medicine before going to medical school. To her, the position offers a rare and incredible preparation for any future physician.

Bethanie Borg

Bethanie BorgBethanie Borg is a medical student intern for Essentia Health Heart and Vascular Center. She is currently a medical student at the University of Minnesota Medical School studying medicine. Bethanie received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2014 with a major in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Bethanie grew up in Cokato, MN and is interested in pursuing a career in medicine/surgery because as a child she had a near death experience, and she wants to use her second chance at life to give back to the communities that helped save her life. During her internship at Essentia Health in 2019, she worked with Dr. Catherine Benziger on a project, “ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction: sex differences in symptom presentation in a large rural health care system". The primary reason she decided to participate in this program was to gain exposure to clinical research and the cardiology field. She believes that the internship program is important to help prepare her for a career in medicine because it provides early exposure to clinical medicine during training and allows for earlier reinforcement of information learned in school lectures with clinical scenarios.

David Supinski

David SupinskiDavid Supinski is a medical student intern for Essentia Health Heart and Vascular Center. He is currently a medical student at the University of Minnesota Medical School studying medicine. David received a Bachelor of Art from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN in 2018 with a major in Biology. David grew up in Baxter, MN and is interested in pursuing a career in surgery because it is very hands on and often involves acutely fixing problems. During his internship at Essentia Health in 2019, he worked with Dr. Catherine Benziger on a project, “Do Chest Pain Severity Ratings to Confirm ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction Diagnosis?” The primary reason he decided to participate in this program was to be exposed to cardiology and to gain clinical research experience. He believes that the internship program is valuable to prepare for him for a career in medicine because provides the opportunity to work closely with the whole healthcare team and develops an appreciation for the clinical research that advances the field.