Health Policy & Planning Internships
The Health Policy & Planning (HPP) Internship Program is designed to provide work opportunities and practical learning experiences in public health, policy, planning and research, with an emphasis in health equity and place-based primary prevention.
HPP Framework: Primary Prevention & Health Equity
There is a growing recognition that where we live, work, play and go to school shape our health. HPP focuses on building healthy, equitable communities that prevent people from getting sick in the first place. HPP works to ensure all people have the opportunity for health and well-being and seeks to build health equity by addressing the root causes of poor health, such as the social, economic, and physical conditions around us. To achieve this goal, HPP employs expertise in policy, planning, research, equity, epidemiology, communications, and advocacy. HPP has a particular focus on supporting populations with higher rates of preventable health issues and in places with the fewest opportunities for health. HPP is currently focused on four areas of work: 1) Stable and affordable housing: protects health and provides the ability to engage in healthy opportunities, 2) Complete neighborhoods: make it easy for residents to be healthy every day in their own communities, 3) High quality education: creates pathways to better health, and 4) Strong local economy: builds household financial security for all.
Internship Overview: Healthy Economy Intern
The focus of the internship project will be to assist Health System staff in researching and developing strategies to maximize economic opportunity for people facing economic barriers in San Mateo County. Access to stable employment, adequate income and benefits can help build financial security and improve overall health and well-being.
Despite the Bay Area’s recent unprecedented growth, income inequality is increasing and many working and middle class residents have been left behind—facing higher rates of unemployment and low wages, financial insecurity and shrinking social supports. These conditions make it difficult to afford and meet basic needs, leading to higher rates of depression, stress and preventable diseases like asthma, obesity and diabetes, ultimately leading to lower life expectancy and poor health.
However they are not inevitable. Health Policy and Planning works with cities, school, and businesses, community–based organizations and workers to foster a strong local economy that supports everyone’s health. The Healthy Economy Intern will assist HPP’s to advance existing work and help define future work towards this goal. The intern will analyze current conditions, synthesize best practices and propose solutions. More specifically, the intern will work on any of the following:
- Provide research support and recommendations to explore anchor institution models to advance community health in San Mateo County.
- Research and provide recommendations to advance workforce development and job training
- Research and provide recommendations to help families build financial security through financial wellness programs and policies,
- Research and draft posts on healthy economy topics for the monthly newsletter and social media.
- Help develop guidelines to promote equitable economic opportunities in planning processes.
Internship Overview: Healthy Neighborhoods Intern
The focus of the internship project will be to assist Health System staff in researching and developing strategies to increase active transportation options for all San Mateo County residents. Living near where you work and send your kids to school prevents many health issues. Creating vibrant complete neighborhoods allows people to safely walk and bike, purchase daily goods and services such as healthy foods, and easily access affordable public transportation, parks and open space. Complete neighborhoods also support small businesses that help stimulate the local economy and provide employment for local residents.
The Healthy Neighborhood Intern will help define HPP’s future work towards this goal. They will analyze current conditions, synthesize best practices and propose solutions. More specifically, they will work on any of the following:
- Research and provide recommendations to advance complete streets and healthy neighborhoods in San Mateo County.
- Provide research support for a countywide Vision Zero initiative.
- Research and provide recommendations for citywide proposed transportation plan updates.
- Research and draft posts on active transportation and other healthy neighborhoods topics for the monthly newsletter and social media.