189573 Building Upon What Is and Capturing Opportunities for Undergraduate Public Health Experiential Learning

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 11:00 AM

Thomas Quade, MA, MPH , Deputy Director, Akron City Health Department, Akron, OH
The stated mission of the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice is to improve public health practice and education by fostering, coordinating, and monitoring links between academia and the public health and health care community, developing and advancing innovative strategies to build and strengthen public health infrastructure, and creating a process for continuing public health education throughout one's career. Local public health departments offer a wide spectrum of experiential learning opportunities that can go beyond the more traditional medical student rotation, nursing clinical experience, or graduate public health student community project. The Akron City Health Department entered into an arrangement with an undergraduate student for an internship in which the student examined the potential for the department to capture available Medicaid funds by logging activities where the health department was engaged in Medicaid outreach. A significant challenge exists in linking the student at whatever academic level to the appropriate public health experience. A matching process could benefit from a dedicated third party entity to facilitate the appropriate placement. State public health associations may fill that niche. The Illinois Public Health Association has been successfully so engaged with the AmeriCorps program, placing volunteers in local health departments where a need exists that can both benefit the department as well as provide real experience to the volunteer. Such a model could be employed with the undergraduate institutions.

Learning Objectives:
Describe teaching health department model as applied to undergraduate student experience. Describe and expand potential models for utilization of state public health associations as coordinating and facilitating bodies for recruitment and placement of undergraduate students with local public health departments.

Keywords: Public Health Education, Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have professional experience in the content area.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.