(Left to Right) AMPHS Summer Interns Karen Ouyang, Alexandra Lacqua, Lisa Rennels, Georgina Muri

The AMPHS 2013 summer internship program ended with a splash last week, after our four summer interns presented their final project results in culminating presentations to AMPHS senior staff. This year, summer interns Alexandra Lacqua, Georgina Muri, Karen Ouyang, and Lisa Rennels were responsible for a diversity of projects to help inform AMPHS’ strategic direction and project goals. Summer interns were divided into projects related to Community Engagement and Medical & Public Health Services and assigned group and independent projects. Group projects included: inputting survey data into the public health database and performing data analysis, community mapping, and conducting needs assessments with community members through interviews and observations. Independent projects were focused on special topics, such as social media use in Sunset Park, air pollution in Sunset Park, market research for a community-wide Healthy Eating Discounts Program, and research on health care policy and its effects on undocumented populations.

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Summer Interns with President & CEO Hewett Chiu at AFA Conference 2013

The summer internship program also featured a number of different activities, including workshops, conferences, and outings. In June, interns had the chance to participate in the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Concepts of Care Conference, where they learned about caretaking for dementia patients and gained a better understanding of patient perspectives. Complementing this, AMPHS initiated a series of Miniversity workshops to introduce interns to topics related to health, health care, and nonprofits, including workshops ranging from topics like brain disorders to qualitative research methods, grantwriting, health care policy, cardiac malfunction and blood pressure measurement, and presentation design. To top it off, interns had the opportunity to participate in a plethora of AMPHS community health events, interacting directly with community members, assisting with outreach, materials distribution, surveys, and translation, and gaining a better understanding of the population the organization was serving.

Summer Outing at Storm King Art Center

And of course, summer isn’t summer without some heated fun. To conclude their summer, AMPHS interns and volunteers took a break from the busy city life with a group outing to relax at the serene and inspirational Storm King Art Center; that same week, they took another surprise trip to participate in the Dr. Oz Show at ABC Studios. On their last day, each of the interns gave a culminating presentation to present their project findings and recommendations to the senior staff, which will be used to further inform AMPHS’ strategic planning process.

When the interns were asked to recap their experiences at AMPHS, a very clear theme emerged. Not only had they learned important skills, they also had the opportunity to contribute to something that mattered to them. According to summer intern Karen Ouyang, “It made me feel small things do make a difference. All the while, I learned research skills, communication skills, time management, and self-motivation during this very busy summer.”

Lisa Rennels Final Presentation on Community Needs Assessment and Social Media Trends in Sunset Park
Lisa Rennels Final Presentation on Community Needs Assessment and Social Media Trends in Sunset Park

This could not make us happier to see. Beyond learning about public health and nonprofits as a career option, they came to AMPHS because they wanted to connect to something larger. We are glad that the interns have been able to explore what matters and break out of their academic bubbles to connect to the greater New York City community.

Wherever they go, we hope that they will bring the AMPHS spirit with them and uncover their true passions. Thank you, Alex, Georgina, Karen, and Lisa for all your hard work this summer!