Students and faculty have many opportunities to serve the community. Within the curriculum, the Department asks its students to participate in a community health fair as part of HLTH 391: Principles of Community Health I and as a capstone to their degree students are required to participate in a 12 credit, semester long internship in a community organization. Finally, students have the ability to seek out independent study opportunities to gain expeirence and earn health elective credit prior their required internship.
Students enrolled in HLTH 391: Principles of Community Health I are responsible for planning and implementing a health fair for a local community group. Communities recently served include: Seat Pleasant, students at the University of Maryland, and staff at the University of Maryland. Students provide screenings and develop brochures and posters in an effort to educate participants on relevant health issues.
Independent study experiences range from assisting a faculty member on a research project, conducting an independent research project alongside a faculty member, or completing an internship with a community organization. Some examples of independent studies completed by students are:
- Research assistant to assist with coding analysis of focus group data, as well as facilitating a web-based survey on traffic safety behaviors and social influences among college students
- Assist to interpret data collected for a community-based research study. After data was interpreted, assisted in preparation of abstracts for presentation and publication.
- Participated in a medical volunteer program in Guatemala to learn basic triage skills, patient care, and patient administration in a low-income community.
- Research assistant at the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) to evaluate the accuracy of program listings, enter data, complete inventories, assist in the preparation of various assessments, community strategic planning documents, and evaluation reports.
- Research assistant with the Center for Health Behavior Research—looked at the consumer acceptability of new and manipulated tobacco products, and oral microbiome of tobacco users.
- Interned with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) as part of the Research Promotion and Development Team to improve research reporting and the characterization of the different national health research systems in Latin America.
- Interned with the District Alliance for Safe Housing, and completed a research paper on the accessibility of resources for survivors of intimate partner violence in minority populations, specifically in the LGBT community.
Through a 36 hour a week internship that spans the duration of a student’s final semester in the major, students are provided an opportunity to gain hands on experience conducting work in the field of community health within one organization.
Adventist HealthCare (AHC) - Center for Health Equity and Wellness (CHEW) is one of the many sites where our students serve as interns. At this site students participate in a variety of outreach such as:
- Provide health screenings and results counseling
- Develop educational materials (employee wellness and community outreach)
- Design and implement prevention presentations (ie: cancer)
- Participate in the evaluation of programming
- Shadow health professionals
Additionally at this site, interns have the opportunity to gain experience in research by learning how to:
- Prepare literature reviews
- Collect, analyze, and interpret data
- Manage database
- Assist with grant writing
- Evaluate program success
An internship with AHC-CHEW is a perfect opportunity for a student interested in medicine and allied health fields where patient/client contact and health education will occur. Students interested in population-based research will also benefit greatly from this opportunity.