Justine’s NEPHIP Internship
By Justine M.
This summer I have been interning with the environmental health team at the Transylvania Public Health department in Brevard, NC.
My work there was diverse and fulfilling, ranging from helping create public education materials and programs, to helping manage a transition towards a new environmental monitoring IT program. Being in a community like Brevard allowed me to explore a wide range of environmental and public health programs. In addition to working with the Environmental Health team, I had the opportunity to shadow the epidemiology and disaster preparedness teams. It was insightful to see firsthand how all these departments interact and work together to promote public health. Although our coursework in DEOHS definitely emphasizes the different branches that contribute to and build-off of environmental health, it was eye-opening to see them all in one building, tackling health issues within the community.
One of the most rewarding parts of this program was being able to work in a location where the most pertinent environmental health issues weren’t necessarily always the same as on the west coast. With a different environment come different environmental health hazards.
Some of my favorite experiences included getting fitted for N95 masks, going to county events where our team interacted with community members, shadowing establishment inspections, and learning about and identifying mosquito species in the laboratory.
In my eyes, the most important part of this internship program is the relationships you establish with the communities you represent, the team members you work with, and the mentors you shadow.