State Health Department Offers Public Health Summer Internship Program

Undergraduate Students Must Apply by March 26, 2010

ALBANY, N.Y. (Thursday, March 11, 2010) – The New York State Department of Health is now accepting applications for the 2010 Public Health Works! Undergraduate Internship Program. The eight-week program, which introduces college student interns to the field of public health, will run from June through August 2010. Applications are due March 26.

Up to nine undergraduate students will be selected for summer internship positions in environmental health programs in state and designated county health departments, and at the Wadsworth Center Laboratories in Albany. In addition to gaining valuable, hands-on public health experience, interns will receive a $3,000 stipend for their work. All applicants must have completed some coursework in the natural sciences or public health.

The New York State Health Department was one of 10 agencies selected by the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) and the Association of Public Health to receive a grant from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the undergraduate internship program. The grant is part of the ASPH's "Pathways to Public Health" initiative, which was developed as a way for young people to learn more about public health education and careers.

"Creating a strong public health workforce is essential to meeting many of the health challenges we face, from combating the growing obesity problem to preventing outbreaks of diseases like H1N1 flu," State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., said. "These undergraduate internships will give students an opportunity to learn firsthand about public health careers, while also helping public health agencies deliver vital services."

The program introduces undergraduate students to the public health application of science, and bolsters efforts to recruit a new generation of public health employees. Interns will work in environmental health programs at state or local health departments, shadowing public health engineers, research scientists and sanitarians as they inspect restaurants, camps and swimming pools; regulate the water supply; and conduct research. Interns at the Wadsworth Center Laboratories will choose from rotations in a range of reference and testing laboratories that handle infectious diseases, genetics, public health preparedness, and environmental monitoring.

Information on how to apply is available on the State Health Department's web site at http://www.nyhealth.gov/prevention/public_health_works/.