Academic Health Department
Instructions for Students
Kent County Health Department (KCHD) is pleased to offer internship opportunities for students interested in gaining public health experience and contributing to their community. To be considered for an internship or practicum experience with KCHD, students must be registered to receive credit for the internship through a college or university, and submit a complete application package within the time frames listed below.
All internships are UNPAID, unless otherwise noted.
Spring-Summer 2018 Application Dates
- Submit a complete application package following KCHD instructions during the time-period of March 15-30.
- Interviews will occur between April 1-15.
- Students will be notified of placement or non-placement no later than by April 30.
Students are also required to attend Public Health Boot Camp orientation and Student Research Day, where they will share their project with all KCHD staff in a poster presentation format. Public Health Boot Camp dates TBD.
- Applicant is registered as a student receiving internship credit through a college or university
- Cover Letter (include which internship opportunity you are applying for)
- Copy of college/university preceptor manual (or any document from the academic institution describing the requirements of the internship host site
- A completed application: KCHD Internship-Practicum Application Form
Any questions about the application process should be directed to KCHD Academic Health Department Liaison, Chelsey Saari.
Current Internship Opportunities
Please check back after March 15th for Spring-Summer 2018 internship opportunities
Required Documents, Training & Deliverables
Upon confirmation of internship, all students are expected to have completed a (1) background check, (2) TB test, and (3) achieve compliance with the KCHD Immunization Policy. Students must provide evidence of compliance with these requirements by the end of the Public Health Boot Camp or otherwise risk being terminated from the internship program.
What is an Academic Health Department (AHD)?
AHDs are defined as “formal affiliations between an academic institution and a public health practice organization”.
Key characteristics of an AHD include:
- A formalized written agreement between the two entities.
- Shared personnel, resources, and compensation.
- Collaborative education and training for students and staff.
- Joint research, grants, projects, and services.
- Shared provision of public health services.
- A shared role in executing the three core functions of assessment, assurance, and policy for healthier communities.
The AHD arrangement is the public health equivalent of the “teaching hospital” affiliation that formalizes the relationship between medical schools and hospitals. It exists to strengthen the linkage between public health practice and its broad academic base and is designed to enhance public health education, training, research, service.
Implementing an AHD model can help address several key issues facing the field of public health, such as:
- Concerns regarding separation of education and public health practice and the relatively low percentage of public health practitioners with formal public health education, faculty with public health practice experience, and graduates seeking employment in health departments.
- Concerns related to the level of preparedness of students and public health professionals to meet local public health needs.
- Health departments' limited abilities to access the expertise necessary for assessing and responding to community health needs.
- The lack of quality community-based or applied public health research.
- The need for continuing education and exposure to public health innovation for public health professionals in both academic and practice environments.
Why is KCHD working to become an Academic Health Department?
One significant selling-point for establishing an AHD model in a given community is that all partnering institutions and the communities served by the health department benefit from the arrangement.
Specific benefits that have been demonstrated as a result of AHD relationships include:
- Increased awareness of and appreciation for public health practice and respect for public health professionals.
- Increased capacity for performing core public health functions and meeting community health needs.
- An ability to maximize and target the use of scarce resources.
- Additional, and better qualified, professionals providing public health services.
- Public health graduates better prepared to enter the workforce with a solid foundation and skills in public health theory and practice.
- Enhanced career opportunities and broader career options for public health graduates.
- Enhanced opportunities for recruitment of public health graduates and professionals into practice environments and public health practitioners into academic environments.
- Better integration of public health principles in health sciences curricula.
- Lifelong learning opportunities for public health professionals.
- Increased opportunities for applied research addressing local public health issues, as well as access to communities and community-based data for research purposes.
- The exchange of fresh ideas and perspectives.
- Increased access to academic resources and expertise to improve the provision of public health services.
- The exchange of fresh ideas and perspectives.
- A broader and more cohesive communication network for disseminating information relevant to public health.
- Advances in the science of public health and an expansion of the knowledgebase for public health decisions and policies.
- A rethinking of the division within public health in which academic institutions focus on education and research, while practice institutions focus on service.
Future Application TimelineWinter Semester
Students must submit an application package following KCHD instructions during the time-period of September 15th to September 30th. Interviews will occur between September 30th and October 15th. Students will be notified of placement or non-placement no later than October 30th.Spring/Summer Semester
Students must submit an application package following KCHD instructions during the time-period of March 15th to March 30th. Interviews will occur between March 30th and April 15th. Students will be notified of placement or non-placement no later than April 30th.Fall Semester
Students must submit an application package following KCHD instructions during the time-period of May 15th to May 30th. Interviews will occur between May 30th and June 15th. Students will be notified of placement or non-placement no later than by June 30th.