Tuesday, March 13, 2012

PSD's Health Equity Unit Volunteer Intern Update

The Health Equity Unit has recruited 3 volunteer interns to work on a range of exciting projects and has been assigned a mentee.

Virginia Visconti is a Anthropology Ph.D and is currently getting taking classes at the Colorado School of Public Health.   She is doing a project with the Primary Care Office on workforce assessment unique to foreign-trained healthcare professionals that may not be accredited to practice here in the U.S., but can still serve as valuable resources to the public health workforce assisting vulnerable populations. The workforce assessment identifies 1) safety-net clinics that provide healthcare services to the foreign-born (immigrants, refugees/asylees, naturalized U.S. citizens and temporary migrants), 2) safety-net clinics that currently utilize or employ foreign-trained healthcare professionals and 3) occupations through which foreign-born healthcare professionals may enter the healthcare workforce based on their existing level of training, licensure and scope of practice. Since Virginia brings a great deal of expertise, she will assist with assessment design, pilot, launch and data analysis.

Rikke Siersbaek also has an advanced degree but has decided to pursue a MPH.  She will be working with Lorena Zimmer and Heather Baumgartner at the Office of Planning and Partnership to interview the 7 Pilot Local public health agencies working on their Public Health Improvement Plan.

The goals of this project include:

  • Assess how useful the Health Equity Model has been to Colorado communities developing their local public health improvement plans;
  • Identify requests or recommendations you have in relation to the model; and
  • Collect and apply lessons learned from existing pilot sites in order to mutually benefit everyone in the CHAPS process. 

Dana Kennedy is an MPH candidate who is interested in policy and will be tracking SDoH related legislation. After the legislative session her project will culminate by putting together the public health case for one of the major SDoH related issues brought up during the legislative session.  Because of her experience and exposure with this project, she has decided to switch her emphasis to policy.

Jennifer Villalobos is and undergraduate student at CUDenver studying public health and Geographic Information Systems.  She was assigned to Lorena Zimmer as a mentee through the “Explore Public Health” project out of CPHA.  This mentorship program aims to introduce youth of color to the field of public health.

We will keep you posted on all their projects.  For questions, contact lorena.zimmer@state.co.us

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