Settling in at the Health Department

If you’re reading this, I hope that you’re having an amazing summer! Anyways, I started working at the Washtenaw County Health Department two weeks ago, and I am working underneath Cindra James in the division of Public Health Preparedness. Cindra is fun and easy to talk to, along with all of the other employees that I have met here so far; it is nice to see smiling faces wherever you go here.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been reading and conducting research to better understand the mechanics of the health department, the areas I will be focusing on, and my role within the department itself. A lot of my work this summer will focus on infectious diseases, including how we can better prepare for outbreaks, planning for emerging infectious diseases, and swiftly handling a public health emergency shall it occur. Last summer, I worked as an Environmental Psychology/Public Health Research Intern for Dr. Nanna Notthoff, a Michigan alum, in Berlin. During my time there, I was able to learn many skills regarding research  and compiling documents and data, which has been tremendously helpful in this new role.

I was drawn to this position when Cindra James came into my Environment 308:Sustainability and Health class (taught by Jason Duvall, and I highly recommend it) to give a guest lecture. The lecture piqued my interest, and since I plan on pursuing careers in public health, I reached out to Cindra to schedule a time to sit down and talk. With a helping hand from Michigan, I was able to join the Health Department as a summer intern.

One thought on “Settling in at the Health Department

  • June 8, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Thanks, Payton! I am having an amazing summer 🙂 Glad to see yours is also off to a good start! I’m Jamie – Internship Coordinator at the Hub I’ll be following your blogs this summer.

    It’s great that you’ve been able to bring your skills from your past Public Health Research internship into this new role. I’m curious – what new skills do you want to gain from this internship? And how will those skills help you achieve your post-grad goals?

    I can’t wait to hear more about your internship in your upcoming blogs!


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