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Summer Internship Program

YCCCH funds summer internships related to climate change and health, with priority given to MPH students in the Climate Change and Health Concentration, followed by Student Associates. Applications will re-open in Spring 2021.

Eligibility:

Process:

This is a two-stage application process.

  • Stage 1: Stage 1 applications will re-open and are due in Spring 2021.
  • Stage 2: Those students matched with a YCCCH internship will be invited to apply for YCCCH internship funding to cover their expenses. Specific application information will be provided when notified about the internship matching outcome. However, students also are encouraged to apply for internship funding from other sources since not all matched internships may be able to be funded through YCCCH.

Questions?

Contact Dr. Laura Bozzi, YCCCH Director of Programs.

Eligible Internship Projects

Project title: Cooling Center Audit

Organization:WE ACT for Environmental Justice, New York, NY

Description: WE ACT is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization that has been fighting for the health and well-being of low-income communities and communities of color for more than 30 years. Our goal is to build healthy communities by ensuring that residents of these communities participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair policies and practices that safeguard their health and environment. To achieve this, we conduct research, organize the community, and plan our advocacy for federal, state, and local policies and practices that address issues impacting these communities, such as clean air, climate justice, healthy homes, and good jobs.

Extreme heat events are a pressing public health issue in New York City. There are a number of negative health impacts from extreme heat such as heat stress, dehydration, dizziness, and fainting. These impacts can lead to hospitalization, worsening of chronic conditions such as heart and respiratory diseases, and can even lead to death. The NYC Cooling Center Program started in 2015 by New York City Mayor’s Office and the Office of Emergency Management to provide public spaces for new Yorkers to go to cool down during a heat emergency. The program sites are made up of community spaces such as New York Public Libraries, Community Centers, Youth Centers, and Senior Centers that have air conditioning. Last summer, a group of WE ACT members conducted an audit of the City-operated Cooling Centers in Northern Manhattan to assess their efficacy. In the fall, we hosted two planning workshops to unpack the survey results and brainstorm recommendations for the City that we have compiled into a report. This report has been supporting organizing and advocacy efforts to improve the Cooling Center Program as a pathway to equitable access to cool spaces, including meeting with City Council Members to base legislation on Cooling Center programming.

For the second summer in a row, WE ACT will be conducting an audit of New York City’s Cooling Center Program to assess its efficacy. The 2020 summer intern will assist in managing this community-based participatory research project. S/he will assist in: survey development; monitoring sites; engaging community members to participate in conducting site surveys; assessing rates of heat emergency, poor air quality, and high humidity days; research around energy insecurity; developing presentation and workshop material; and city-level advocacy and communication efforts for improving the Cooling Center program.

Location: New York, NY

Required skills/ Eligibility: None listed.

Project title: Developing an outreach strategy for hospital/clinic staff and other health professionals on climate change & health

Organization:Montana Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate

Description: Health professional involvement and advocacy at the local and state levels is vital for stimulating effective climate action. Montana Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate (https://www.montanahphc.org/) is a grassroots organization founded in 2019 whose primary goal is to amplify the voice of healthcare professionals in Montana relative to climate change actions.

Under the mentorship of MontanaHPHC leadership, all of whom are either physicians, nurses or climate scientists involved in public health, with commensurate MD or PhD level credentials, the intern will develop an outreach strategy targeted toward staff at hospitals, clinics, health professionals, and allied organizations. The purpose of the outreach is to educate about the ways in which climate change affects the health of Montana residents and to invite health professionals and healthcare students to join MontanaHPHC and take action. The outreach strategy will include developing the educational materials, conducting the outreach both electronically and in person, and tracking progress. Additionally, the intern will accompany MontanaHPHC members for presentations to the public, elected officials and other organizations as they may arise during the internship period.

Location: The applicant will primarily work out of Hardin, MT, with anticipated assignments in Missoula and Bozeman, MT, as well. Lodging and meals will be provided by MontanaHPHC board members in their homes in each location.

Required skills/ Eligibility: Undergraduate or masters' level student with their education to date or past experience in a health-related field. Experience in website management or design is helpful, but not required. Applicant will be required to drive between locations in a private vehicle, thus must have a valid driver’s license. A personal vehicle is optimal, but not required.

Project title: Climate Change and Health Action Research

Organization:Healthy Caribbean Coalition

Description: In 2017 the World Health Organization launched the Special Initiative on Climate Change and Health in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), in collaboration with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Fijian Presidency of the COP-23. The SIDS Initiative has four strategic lines of action: Empowerment, Evidence, Implementation, Resources. The Caribbean Action Plan on Health and Climate Change (2019-2023) is based on these four strategic lines of action. Students interning in the area of Climate Change and Health in the Caribbean can best contribute to the Strategic Line of Action 2: Evidence – Understanding the impacts on health, preparing health systems and building the health argument for investments. Two of the guiding actions, with relevant indicators and nations and regional actions are to:

  • Build and use evidence for planning, decision-making and policy assessment
  • Improve communications

The selected intern will be paired with a national or regional Caribbean entity that has a focus on health, environment or specifically climate change, in order to help countries:

  1. Develop and disseminate national information on Climate and Health which can inform relevant policies and interventions e.g. Climate and Health Profile, Health Chapter for National Adaptation Plans, etc.
  2. Develop a pilot public health campaign on climate and health with a focus on non-communicable diseases.

Location:To be determined in Caribbean region

Required skills/ Eligibility: None listed.

Project title: A Plan to Reduce Non-Communicable Disease-Related Morbidity and Mortality After Natural Disasters

Organization: Equity Research and Innovation Center, Yale School of Medicine

Description: There were over 1000 deaths during the 2017 hurricane season in the United States, with the majority occurring in the territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). Over a third of post-disaster mortality and morbidity was due to complications of non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. With the rising frequency of natural disasters, there is an urgent need for feasible, acceptable, and effective emergency preparedness plans that will reduce morbidity and mortality related to non-communicable diseases after disasters. This is especially true for underserved, under-insured, minority populations that have historically suffered disproportionately after disasters. The research project will leverage the unique access of Federally Qualified Health Centers to underserved populations in the U.S. territories to develop both an organizational and disease-specific (i.e., hypertension, diabetes, heart failure) emergency preparedness plan. To achieve this objective, we will use a mixed methods approach to evaluate existing emergency preparedness plans, engage key stakeholders to improve existing plans to address the management of non-communicable diseases after a natural disaster, and conduct a pilot study to test its feasibility and acceptability. This work will lay the foundation for developing a much-needed approach to saving lives and to reaching those populations most in need after a natural disaster.

The Summer intern will be primarily working on Aim 1 of this proposal:

Aim 1: Explore the current emergency preparedness of FQHCs in the USVI and Puerto Rico. Conduct a sequential mixed methods evaluation to better understand barriers and facilitators to implementation of the rule and its limitations. Quantitative: we will survey two FQHCs in the USVI and two in Puerto Rico using Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) surveyor tools to determine their compliance with implementation of the CMS emergency preparedness rule. Qualitative: We will hold in-depth interviews with administrators, providers, and patients in the surveyed FQHCs to understand barriers and facilitators to implementing the emergency preparedness rule, emergency preparedness plans, and challenges to the management of NCDs after a natural disaster. We anticipate ~10 interviews per FQHC to reach saturation. We will use an iterative, thematic approach to data analysis

Location: New Haven, CT

Required skills/ Eligibility: Literature review; Survey development; Qualitative research skills preferred; Spanish proficiency preferred

Project title: A survey of cooling station practices in Connecticut and local indicators of climate and health

Organization:Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH)

Description: Cooling stations offer vulnerable populations respite from extreme heat and are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an effective public health intervention against increasing risks of heat-related illness and death due to global warming. In Connecticut, cooling station operation and management falls under the jurisdiction of Directors of Local Health Departments and Districts, as well as the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. The extent to which practices for cooling station operations are coordinated and locations are targeted to effectively reach populations most vulnerable to extreme heat is currently unknown. This project will focus on the development and administration of a survey for local health directors and directors of emergency management to inventory cooling station locations and practices throughout the state, similar to the approach used by Nayak et al. 2017 (J Comm Health 42:43-50). The intern will have the opportunity to analyze survey results and map current cooling station locations to inform the development of best practices for cooling station management throughout the state. Additionally, over the past several months, the CT DPH Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Program has worked with the Farmington Valley Health District to develop a summary of key indicators and measures to be used for their Community Health Assessment. The project would additionally include researching and proposing the development of additional indicators and measures specific to Climate and Health to include in that Summary Report, along with the appropriate content, the end result of which would be the addition of the expanded content on the CT Tracking Data Explorer (stateofhealth.ct.gov). The selected student will be provided the opportunity to participate in local and national workgroups (as available) and present their findings on both cooling station survey results and additional Climate and Health indicators developed for Community Health Assessments to CT DPH and CT Local Health Departments and Districts. This intern will be hosted by the DPH Health Statistics and Surveillance Section with mentoring support from the CT EPHT Program.

Location: Hartford, CT

Required skills/ Eligibility: The qualified candidate will have completed foundational coursework in epidemiology and biostatistics. Additional preferred qualifications include SAS/R programming proficiency, experience with survey instrument development, as well as familiarity with core concepts pertaining to the health impacts of climate change.

Project title: Call to Action on Climate, Health and Equity: A Policy Action Agenda

Organization:Coalition of health and medical organizations

Description: Last year, over 120 leading national health and medical organizations endorsed the US Call to Action on Climate, Health and Equity: A Policy Action Agenda. Now, an ad-hoc coalition of eight health and medical organizations is working together to develop strategies for expanded engagement on the part of organization members, chapters, and affiliates to work on furthering the policies in the action agenda. The coalition is endeavoring to identify specific policy proposals at the state and national level that align with the policy action agenda, and to understand the policy and advocacy landscape in a few key states where we might work together to better leverage the health voice. The coalition is also planning two state convenings to bring together health and medical organizations to explore the Policy Action agenda and relevant state opportunities for health action. In this internship opportunity, the selected student will work under Dr. Linda Rudolph (Director of the Center for Climate Change and Health at the Public Health Institute) to conduct policy research and analysis in support of the coalition’s action agenda described above.

Location: The internship will be conducted remotely (office space is available at Yale School of Public Health, if desired).

Required skills/ Eligibility: None specified.

Project title: Climate Change and Health Action Research

Organization:The Center for Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticia)

Description:The Center for Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticia) is a Colombia-based non-governmental organization working on strengthening the rule of law and promoting human rights in Colombia and across the Global South. We are a think-do tank that combines rigorous research and effective activism, an innovative approach that makes our work challenging and exciting. Our research is informed by our activism, and our direct advocacy (through campaigns, litigation, education, and capacity-building) is based on the evidence we gather and analysis we produce in our research. This overarching methodology of “action-research” guides our work as an organization. Dejusticia is looking for summer interns who have excellent research and writing skills, have a strong sense of initiative and are willing to be part of a dynamic, young, and brilliant team of academics and activists to work with our Environmental Justice team on issues related to climate change and health, such as: the relation between air pollution and climate change from a public health perspective, the benefits of adopting integrated air pollution and climate change public policies and the relation between economic inequality and air pollution-related health impacts in Bogotá.

Location: Bogotá, Colombia

Required skills/ Eligibility: Spanish speaking skills are a plus, but projects are available for interns who only speak English

rev. 02.07.2020