DENVER — The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), in collaboration with the Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs is accepting applications for 30 summer 2016 environmental health interns sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Local, state and tribal environmental health departments are eligible to host students from accredited universities and colleges for this National Environmental Public Health Internship Program (NEPHIP).
“This is a great opportunity for small, local health departments who may not have existing resources to support qualified interns,” said David T. Dyjack, Dr.PH, CIH, NEHA executive director. “City, county, and tribal health departments serving rural, frontier and underserved communities could especially benefit from this capacity building program, since they often feel the impacts of limited budgets more acutely.”
A major benefit of hosting an intern is the assistance they will provide to the environmental health program at no cost to the health department.
In addition to having students eager to gain experience in the field and contribute to the important mission of the environmental health practice, participation also contributes to the recruitment of highly trained professionals into environmental public health practice.
For those who are new to creating an environmental health internship, EHAC academic programs can offer guidance based on other successful programs.
Once interested health departments have applied and are accepted, they will be matched with qualified students who apply for the internships in the spring.
NEHA will award students a stipend of up to $4,000 ($400 per week) for completing a 10-week internship. An additional stipend is available to cover some of the relocation costs.
Last year was the first year for these CDC-supported internships in environmental health, and 12 interns were placed in health departments throughout the U.S.
These interns were involved in a wide range of activities such as studying contamination levels of surface water and groundwater, helping to build on tracking initiatives by presenting pesticide exposures and illness information, assisting with completion of asset mapping in regards to built environments in communities, and creating a database of key stakeholders who would be decision makers regarding sustainability of their communities.
Environmental health as a discipline focuses on the interrelationships between people and their environment, and fosters safe and healthy living with all aspects of the natural and built environment that may affect human health.
Responsibilities of environmental health professionals may include monitoring air quality, water and noise pollution, toxic substances and pesticides, conducting restaurant inspections, carrying out vector control and promoting healthy land use and housing, and participating in emergency response related to environmental disasters or the increasing effects of climate change.
Health departments interested in applying to host an environmental health intern should submit an application at http://neha.org/professional- by Dec. 23.