The Illinois State University Division of Student Affairs recognizes young alumni who demostrate great pride in Illinois State University as well as extend what they learned through their experiences with Student Affairs to others. Recipients of this honor live the values of Student Affairs – Integrity, Compassion, Creativity, Diversity, and Relationships. This year, Student Health Services (SHS) is pleased to nominate Dr. Hayley Ralph ’10. Ralph graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and minor in chemistry.
At the age of 8, Ralph knew that she wanted to go into medicine after spending time with her mother, a radiology technician, at the local hospital where she was exposed to various types of medical careers.
As a freshman at Illinois State, Ralph knew that if she wanted to pursue her dream of medicine, she would need some real-life experience. That is when she chose to apply for a student worker position at Student Health Services (SHS). She spent her first two years working at Student Health Services in the health information department. Her main responsibilities included organization of patient charts, organizing lab and radiology orders, and alphabetizing important patient documents. Ralph also chose to work in administration and help with a special outreach clinic for the H1N1 flu virus vaccine. Other duties included helping SHS get on social media as she set up the SHS Facebook page and made regular updates.
After graduating from Illinois State, Ralph went to medical school at the University of Illinois studying in the rural medicine program and spent three years in a small community near Rockford. Currently, Ralph is a resident physician where she is gaining hands-on experience in family medicine.
Her future plans are to make it back to Central Illinois to work in a small rural community and provide medical care as a family medicine provider. When asked what the most rewarding aspect of her job is, Dr. Ralph said: “As a family physician, it is most rewarding to take care of someone from birth through life. I have patients of all ages from delivering a baby one day to providing care for an elderly patient the next.” Many times Ralph will get to know family members and in the end will be their family physician as well: “It feels great when multiple family members are seen by me. I get to see the entire family dynamics, which is neat.”
Ralph said her time at Student Health Services provided great experience and exposure working with physicians, nurses, and medical records staff and prepared her for medical school and residency. “My past experience and work while at SHS provided a rewarding experience I will utilize in my current career,” she said. “At SHS I learned to multitask and learned the business aspects of medicine. I appreciated the staff, and the family atmosphere, and support that was provided to me during my time at Illinois State.”
It is clear that Ralph has achieved much success following her graduation from Illinois State University and is very deserving of this nomination.
Congratulations to Ralph on her nomination for the Redbird Proud Young Alumni Award. We wish her the best in all her future endeavors!