In meeting its mission and goals, The Western Massachusetts Public Health Training Center runs an internship program for graduate students enrolled in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Training center interns support the efforts of community based organizations and health prevention efforts within health centers in the communities of Holyoke, Springfield, Pittsfield, and the Berkshires. The WMPHTC’s internship program develops and strengthens the future public health workforce by providing hands-on training, peer networking, and trainings specific to professional development and cultural competence.
Quotes from Interns
- "Through my internship work I have seen how to address health problems on a community level, and who the appropriate stakeholders are to address the community needs...I have also learned a lot about how important it is to understand community dynamics in order to understand why health problems exist."
- "My internship has challenged me in that I have never planned such an evaluation and applied some of the classroom skills I've obtained in college. Identifying stakeholders and understanding community dynamics are essential to this project, as they have a huge influence on Square One patrons and the Springfield/Holyoke community as a whole."
- "It was great being able to become involved in a project that had a lot of community involvement. It allowed me to see the other side of public health, beyond that of research and numbers."
- "It made me realize that health care didn't just take place in a hospital."
Quotes from Site Supervisors:
- "One of the challenges of my project is that demand for what we are doing far outstrips our capacity to address requests. Our programming often runs ahead of funding. Having our intern produce a stand-alone report on the number one environmental concern in Springfield, ensured our ability to meet our obligations to the community. The quality of the report reinforced our relationship in the community, by reassuring residents we were taking their concerns seriously and showing we were responsive to their needs, by providing them with this report."
- "It's always great to have a new perspective on your work and an intern brings new energy... We now have this asset map that we've been talking about creating for months."