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Every summer, Alameda Health Consortium and Community Health Center Network has the privilege of working with interns who are currently in universities or have recently completed their degrees within the public health realm. We feel that providing determined and passionate young people entering the field of public health hands-on experience is important for a number of reasons; they’re given the chance to learn more about initiatives that affect people every day in every part of their community; they get a first-hand experience of learning more about broad issues that affect the health and well-being of individuals and the community as a whole; and we as an organization are provided a fresh, new perspective on organizational norms.

Pablo Cuadros

Pablo Cuadros, UC Berkeley
MPH Candidate, 2021

I was inspired to study Health Policy & Management at UC Berkeley through my experience researching patient compliance to treatment. It was clear that individuals were facing structural barriers that kept them from adhering to their treatment plans and leading healthy lives. I hope that gaining knowledge of our current political landscape in healthcare can propel me into a career where I can work on providing advocacy for systematic change and innovation in care delivery that is designed to support communities in need.

My internship has allowed me to examine ways people navigate a complex health system

My internship at CHCN has allowed me to examine ways people navigate a complex health system to find ways to expand health care delivery to vulnerable populations through innovative modalities. Furthermore, it exposed me to the different moving parts in the health care system that need to be aligned in order to do so.

My recommendation for future interns is to take advantage of the position CHCN holds amongst the community clinics and get involved in projects designed to support the wonderful, diverse communities here in the Bay Area.

Diana Lazo

Diana Lazo, MPH, UC Berkeley

My family’s experience as Medi-Cal patients navigating services at FQHC’s in San Diego has been a motivating factor in my passion for public health and interest in working at CHCN. My graduate education at UC Berkeley provided me with the knowledge and experience in program planning and evaluation, further enhancing my understanding of health behavior change, health promotion, and community needs. Public Health has given me the opportunity to work with various non-profits and healthcare organizations by addressing their program evaluation needs and utilizing innovative ways to improve their systems and processes. As a recent MPH graduate, I was drawn to the organization due to my passion for learning and continued interest in understanding the barriers faced by low-income and underserved communities when accessing quality health care services.

I was drawn to the organization due to my passion for learning …

My role in working to improve learning and development opportunities has allowed me to build strong and trusting relationships with staff across the organization. It has also introduced me to the role of managed care organizations and the wide range of support services made available to the community health centers in the network and patients in the safety net. I would advise future interns to be open to learning and challenge themselves to improve their skills and grow professionally alongside mission-driven individuals at the organization.

Melissa Leanda, UC Berkeley
MPH Candidate, 2021

Melissa Leanda

I was always interested in working in the healthcare industry and was fortunate enough to find my way into the public health field. I felt that it was the best way to give back to the underserved communities that supported me through my childhood and into early adulthood.

My internship at CHCN has really allowed me to test myself …

In August 2019, I was accepted into the Health and Social Behavior concentration within UC Berkeley’s MPH program. It was the perfect opportunity that combined my interests in the healthcare industry and community service while utilizing my backgrounds in health policy and the social sciences. During my first year in the program, I started focusing on the ways in which health programs can be created or modified to better serve populations that have been previously underserved and underrepresented in the American healthcare system.

My internship at CHCN has really allowed me to test myself in ways that have confirmed my interest and future in this type of work. I am so thankful to have had an opportunity to learn