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Chemung County Health Department

The Chemung County Health Department (CCHD) is a local county public health department based in Elmira, New York. Our mission is to Promote and respond to our community's health needs, Demonstrate teamwork through open communication, support, respect and accountability and Provide efficient, courteous, professional service fairly and consistently. We have extensive collaborative relationships with other community based organizations that support public health issues. CCHD will offer interns experience on a variety of public health related issues. The Chemung County Health Department serves more than 88,000 citizens by preventing disease, protecting the environment, and promoting healthy lifestyles with a vision of healthy people living in healthy communities.

Internship and volunteer opportunities at the Chemung County Health Department

Public Health has exciting internship and volunteer opportunities available for undergraduate and graduate students. These positions, all within the Chemung County Health Dept., will complement education with experience to help prepare candidates for the professional public health world awaiting them upon graduation. Opportunities range from HIV education or prevention, emergency preparedness, tobacco control, women’s health, environmental health, health policy, health communications, or community health in the field. These are just a few of the topics we handle day to day. The following information provides details on some ways students can get involved.

Chemung County Undergraduate/Graduate Internships:

An intern is defined as someone who wishes to receive community service or academic credit upon completion of their hours. Students wishing to earn community service or academic credit in exchange for their time MUST do so through the system set up at their school. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure all the proper steps have been taken to earn service or educational credits.

Overview of responsibilities and tasks that may be available:

Expectations may include, but not be limited to a variety of projects and tasks that promote and support the work of the CCHD and improve community health such as:

  • Implementing and delivering health education programs
  • Drafting health-related materials, such as brochures, social media content, and displays
  • Collecting data to analyze needs and evaluate programs
  • Assist with health education events/workshops/trainings
  • Community outreach and education projects
  • Work with our partners on various health improvement projects
  • Advocacy at local and state levels

CCHD interns will be encouraged to align their activities with their personal and professional interests when possible. They will be expected to document progress as they pursue learning objectives and provide a final written report of their experience.

During the internship, the Public Health Intern will gain experience promoting, maintaining, and improving individual and community health by assisting individuals and communities in adopting healthy policies and/or behaviors. The intern may assist in collecting and analyzing data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies and environments.

In most instances, the intern will report directly to the Public Health Program Coordinator. The intern will set a flexible schedule within the hours of 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday, with occasional evening and weekend hours possible for Health Dept. events.

Skills Preferred –

Excellent time management, organizational, interpersonal, computer, written & verbal communication skills are preferred

Goals of CCHD internships might include:

• Establish, implement, and evaluate learning goals and objectives;
• Integrate academic coursework and theory with community-based practice;
• Expand on their understanding of the role of health-related agencies in the community setting;
• Analyze the role of public/community health professionals in relation to agency activities;
• Analyze the role of public/community health professionals in relation to the health of the community;
• Gain an understanding of the organization, administration, program activities, and problems of public/community health agencies; • Improve skills and professional development through on-the-job training;
• Participate in, and assume responsibilities for planning, implementing, administering, and/or evaluating some specific part of the agency's program(s);
• Identify individual and community level needs for health promotion and disease prevention;
• Identify principles of community health that are needed for the development of effective health promotion and disease prevention strategies;
• Apply statistics and research methods to accurately describe the distribution of, and examine the determinants of population health;
• Apply statistics and research methods to community health program evaluations;
• Describe how to plan, implement and administer short- and long-term community health interventions;
• Communicate and disseminate the results of community health program evaluations;
• Describe how to advocate for effective community health initiatives at the local, state and federal levels;
• Identify strategies that effectively incorporate cultural competence within health promotion and community health initiatives;
• Demonstrate competency in planning, preparing and delivering effective community health presentations.

Possible Internship Areas: Interns may select from activities such as:

Policy & Advocacy :
Research health improvement related system and policy changes. Work closely with local businesses, organizations, and legislators to assess readiness for policy change, determine process to achieve policy change, advocate and encourage policy change and adoption. Update advocacy and educational materials, and fact sheets to support policy change. Record and report progress at monthly Healthy Priority Partnership meetings. Assist in the development of plans for any community, business or legislative activities that help implement policy change and raise awareness of CCHD activities. Assist with the development and preparation of testimony for various community, business or legislative meetings. Assist with direct outreach and communication to targeted audience by mailings, emails and phone calls to promote our advocacy. Assist with planning implementation or follow-up to community, business and/or legislative forums and meetings. Utilize CCHD website, social media, and local media outlets to update and inform residents and community partners on important public health advocacy issues.

Program Planning & Communications
Develop CCHD informational and educational literature and hand-outs for professional or lay audiences. Network with existing CCHD partners and collaborative organizations and identify new organizations whose missions and objectives complement that of CCHD and with whom new partnerships should be pursued to achieve objectives. Represent CCHD and offer health education input at coalition meetings. Assist with public relations, including development of press releases and promotional materials. Assist with direct outreach and communication to Chemung County residents, leaders, and partner organizations. Conduct needs assessments to identify community concerns and assets. Determine how to address needs through the coordination of community resources. Utilize and update CCHD website and facebook content in support of health department activities.

Assist in identifying possible funding sources to support CCHD initiatives. Assist in gathering and organizing data, statistics, and background materials for CCHD grants, cooperative agreements, and special topics. Research and report on CCHD priority topic areas as identified in the scope of work. Attend and report on local meetings to gather information as needed. Conduct focus groups or surveys to inform and/or support CCHD projects.

Deliver direct program support to CCHD staff, projects, and activities as needed. Assist in coordination of coalition meetings including developing agendas, researching meeting topics, taking minutes. Perform data entry for various projects, ranging from minutes to survey data, mailing, answering inquiries, etc. Analyze and develop program materials in support of CCHD activities.

Sample Intern Projects

  • Development and delivery of community based health education topics such as diabetes prevention, wellness, proper nutrition, weight management, heart health, lead prevention, tobacco cessation, and immunizations.
  • Assist with the development and implementation of special projects as needed.
  • Work to conduct health education programs and outreach at local schools. 
  • Work with partner agencies to conduct research.
  • Survey members at all levels as part of an internal review process towards quality improvement.
  • Assist in the development of web based materials for targeted audiences.
  • Assist with the coordination and promotion of events.
  • Assist with identifying grant opportunities, grant writing and proposal development.

Intern benefits may include (depending on projects):
Opportunity to attend and learn from health related community coalitions; interact and network with leaders and members in the local community; gain valuable work experience in a professional office setting, with potential for letters of recommendation; interact with public health leaders in Chemung County and learn how a local public health department operates and is managed. Student will interact with staff and contribute to the organization including learning how local health programs are planned, managed, and evaluated; how coalitions are developed and nurtured; how advocacy efforts are planned and implemented and other experiences pertinent to advanced competencies of public health professionals and working in a business environment.

Qualifications and Prior Experience
Qualified applicants should be a pursuing a bachelor’s or a graduate degree in public health, health education, community health, health promotion, preventive medicine, or a related discipline, and completed two or more years of coursework with a 3.0 GPA or above desired, but not required. Coursework in health education, behavioral theory, multicultural communications, program planning, advocacy and policy/environmental approaches to improving health and other health education competencies is preferred. Other candidates will be considered on a case by case basis.
The ideal candidate will be able to work with minimal supervision; have excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills; attention to detail; reliable and prompt; able to commit to the agreed upon schedule; able to deal tactfully with a variety of personalities; and able to work in a team environment.

Microsoft Office programs including Word, Excel, and Publisher desired. Student should be highly motivated and a self-starter needing a minimum of supervision. Office location is 103 Washington St. Elmira, NY 14901.

CCHD is not able to provide housing for interns.

No stipends are currently available.

Sample Projects

Implementing the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)
Working to increase proper nutrition, and physical activity while reducing obesity

  • Partner collaboration with the Health Priorities Partnership (HP2)
  • Develop obesity prevention initiatives based on the CHIP
  • Provide nutrition education throughout the community
  • Support efforts to increase community physical education

Internship Summary: The CCHD Community Health Improvement Plan is a framework to create and support environments that make it easier for all county residents to make healthy food choices, be physically active and maintain a healthy weight. The CHIP has several initiatives outlined and underway to improve community health. The internship may include developing communication and marketing materials for CHIP activities, analyzing survey data and writing a reports, literature reviews, developing assessment tools, formative assessment, evaluation and working with state and local partners to achieve objectives. The intern may have the opportunity to work on other projects of interest that work to achieve CHIP objectives such as worksite wellness programs, improving access to healthcare, early care and education, providing education in school or community settings. A copy of the CCHD CHIP is available upon request. Students could chronicle the journey of individuals as they struggle on their weight loss journey. Providing support, researching statistics, and solutions, creating website and facebook posts culminating in a final report of challenges and successes. This could also be done with nutrition perhaps recording someone as they try to become a vegetarian. CCHD is particularly interested in student ideas on reaching the younger generations. Skills and Experience Required: A passion for the subject material is desired. Knowledge of intervention design principles; knowledge of policy, environmental and systems change strategies; knowledge of formative assessment techniques are preferred with good written and oral communication skills (required) and knowledge of nutrition or physical activity or health education would be helpful, but your enthusiasm to make a difference is enough.
Important Considerations:
The worksite is in downtown Elmira; there is no stipend for this or any other internships at this time. There is a potential for some evening or weekend work, which would be scheduled based upon the intern’s availability, to reach the target groups. The majority of the work would be during the hours of 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

Cancer Services Program (CSP) Community Engagement Project

  • Community engagement
  • Increase cancer screenings among the uninsured
    Internship Summary: The CSP intern will participate in community events in collaboration with staff and community partners such as Arnot Health, Komen Foundation, and the Women’s Health Center. These community events will familiarize the student with the local community and assist CSP in achieving their screening goals. The CSP intern will work closely with staff to publicize the program and reach the target population. The CSP intern will assist with developing a presentation and fact sheets based on data from NYSDOH and other sources to utilize during community events and presentations. The CSP intern will have the opportunity to schedule and conduct presentations to groups and organizations that serve the target population. CSP is looking for unique and innovative ways of engaging ethnically diverse, low income community members. The intern will be expected to reach out to community partners to identify and screen individuals.
    Skills and Experience Required: Ideal candidates for this internship are outgoing, self-motivated, goal oriented and have the ability to work independently. Computer skills, time management and organizational skills, enthusiasm, creativity, and interpersonal skills are required. Excellent written and verbal communications skills are important for this position. Familiarity with or interest in reaching the uninsured and social marketing is preferred. Skills and/or experience (or a strong desire to gain them) in community education and outreach and project coordination involving diverse community partners is preferred. Experience in culturally diverse communities would be preferred, but is not required.
    Important Considerations: Some weekend and evening work might be necessary depending on community events.
    Other: We will be happy to share the CSP workplan with any interested candidate to help them get a better understanding of the program.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS)Project

  • Conduct community BRFSS survey
  • Compare data to past BRFSS figures
  • Analyze changes
  • Report improvements and areas of need
    Internship Summary: The intern shall conduct a local expanded BRFSS based on the Centers for Disease Control past practices. Student will review current data, collect new data, analyze data, and report out on findings comparing past data to collected statistics. Collection of data will be done both electronically and on paper in an effort to reach all segments of the population. Semester will culminate in final report providing a history of the BRFSS process, past and present data, analysis of data, and recommendations for areas of need to focus health department efforts. Student will also prepare a presentation for the Health Priorities Partnership focused on the Community Health Improvement Plan.
    Skills and experience required: Student should be comfortable working with statistics and interacting with various community populations. Computer skills, time management and organizational skills, math, and interpersonal skills are required. Excellent analytical and written communications skills are important for this position.

Promoting A Breastfeeding-Friendly Chemung County Community

  • Partner collaboration with the Twin Tiers Breastfeeding Network (TTBN)
  • Provide breastfeeding education to county residents, organizations, and businesses
  • Promote breastfeeding as a norm

Photo and/or video project promoting breastfeeding
Internship Summary: The intern will: 1) attend TTBN meetings, collaborating with community partners to assure access to breastfeeding friendly environments; 2) plan health education and work to schedule breastfeeding classes on how to support breastfeeding mothers throughout the community and 3) Coordinate breastfeeding support and promotion with other programs in the health department, private and public health care systems, and community organizations to promote the establishment of breastfeeding as the norm in the community. The student could coordinate a photo/video project working directly with community members to promote breastfeeding.
Skills and Experience Needed: An individual who is an advocate of breast milk as first food for infants is required. Experience with or desire to improve group presentation or coalition-building skills, with background in community health is preferred. Also, helpful experience in facilitating group meetings.
Important Considerations: The worksite is in downtown Elmira; there is no stipend for this or any other internships at this time. There is a potential for some evening or weekend work, which would be scheduled based upon the intern’s availability, to reach the target groups. The majority of the work would be during the hours of 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.
Other: CCHD is very passionate about breastfeeding promotion. In a short time, the intern can contribute to promoting a healthy choice which can make a difference in the lives of infants and children.

Creating CCHD informational and promotional material

  • Create slideshow for CCHD and DSS lobby screens
  • Update printed CCHD materials for clinics and programs
  • Provide and update CCHD website material
  • Develop relevant CCHD facebook content
    ​The intern will assess all CCHD programs conducting face to face interviews to update and build content for new informational screens being displayed in waiting area. Content will also be provided to DSS and should include information on local community resources and services available. Intern will be responsible for developing and refreshing CCHD educational and promotional materials regarding services offered. CCHD website content will be created and or updated as necessary. Material will be developed for use on CCHD facebook page for regularly provided services and special events.

Implementing the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)
Working to increase proper nutrition, and physical activity while reducing obesity for local employers

  • Partner collaboration with the Health Priorities Partnership (HP2)
  • Investigate worksite wellness best practices
  • Develop action plan to engage local employers
    ​CCHD would like to establish a worksite wellness program. The program would focus on nutrition and physical activity programs to maintain a healthy lifestyle for the employees at local businesses. The intern will be responsible for researching best practices, developing an action plan, engaging local employers and all aspects of establishing a worksite wellness program. This may include assisting in data tracking and measurement, program development, execution, tests, and instituting environmental and system policy changes. The program may include the following tasks: Data tracking (usage and metrics) of fitness programs; Help employers develop and execute wellness games (or similar programs) to encourage participation in a multi-activity event throughout their locations; Oversee walking programs and/or walk to run programs; Increase experience/knowledge of group exercise and training principles by developing 10 hours of a class or training program.

Implementing the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)
Investigating the psychology of weight loss, lack of physical activity, smoking, or poor nutrition

  • Partner collaboration with the Health Priorities Partnership (HP2)
  • Research current literature regarding weight loss, obesity, lack of physical activity, tobacco use and/or poor nutrition
  • Participate in local CCHD or partner program to address topic
  • Document program and/or individual successes and challenges
  • Recommend improvements
    This project will focus on any health issue related to the CCHD CHIP. The student will concentrate on any of the mentioned topics or others may be considered. For example the intern may investigate weight loss and weight gain prevention addressing current obesity issues. Interns may address specific areas such as intervention development, public health message delivery, and behavior monitoring for the chosen issue. The student may chronicle an individual or group as they work to make improvements to their personal health. Web and social media content can be created documenting their journey with a final report presented to the CCHD Health Priorities Partnership.

If interesed in any above information contact:
Dawn Bush

Additional Internship Opportunities within CCHD: 

The Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Community Partnership (STTAC) seeks to build healthier communities through tobacco free living in Chemung, Schuyler, & Steuben Counties in NY. STTAC is a NYS Department of Health grant funded program of the Chemung County Health Department. For more information about STTAC please visit our website at

STTAC Objectives: 

  • Reduce the impact of retail tobacco product marketing on youth.
  • Increase the number of local laws, regulations and voluntary policies that prohibit tobacco use in outdoor areas including public parks, beaches, playgrounds, clubs, college campuses and outdoor areas of businesses (including hospitals and other medical facilities), other grounds, recreation areas, and in proximity to building entryways.
  • Increase the percent of adult smokers and youth who live in households where smoking is prohibited.
  • Eliminate pro-tobacco imagery from youth-rated movies and the Internet.

What you will learn:

  • How a New York State Bureau of Tobacco Control grant functions and meets grant deliverables/outcomes
  • Gain extensive awareness of the New York State Bureau of Tobacco Control Program’s strategic plan
  • How to be the coordinator of a youth oriented program and mobilize/educate youth to work toward policy adoption
  • How to create successful linkages with community partner, non-traditional partners, and the media
  • From beginning to end, organizing and creating youth oriented programs and events

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Help to coordinate projects and programs that promote Reality Check and Bureau of Tobacco Control initiatives
  • Participate in projects and programs with support from Reality Check Coordinator
  • Serve on coalitions with Reality Check Coordinator
  • Assist with daily tasks necessary for meeting grant deliverables/outcomes
  • Be enthusiastic and open to new experiences and lots of learning opportunities!

For additional information on how to apply for this and/or other positions with STTAC, please contact: 

Sarah Robbins
STTAC Director
103 Washington Street Elmira, NY 14901

Chemung County Health Center
103 Washington Street
Elmira, NY

Public Health

Environmental Health
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