The Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research sponsors a Health Inequalities Internship Program (HIIP) for undergraduate students at surrounding colleges and universities. The internship accepts 4-6 students per summer to encourage exploration of health inequalities. If appropriate, students are able to apply this opportunity as class credit. They will become immersed in the various aspects of public health and policy research by collaborating together on a common project throughout the summer. The students, often in alliance with community partners, determine the research question and develop an intervention to address the issue. These projects have either a research focus, and provide the internship class an opportunity to join together as a group on a project with the goal of impacting policy at the community level. Throughout the internship have full access to CHPIR faculty and staff, as well as participate in hour long presentations presented by faculty members or community based organizations. Upon the conclusion of the internship, the students write and report and develop a presentation on their common project which is attended by CHPIR faculty and staff, as well as any community partners associated with the common project. At the presentation, the students are asked questions and given feedback regarding their research methodology and intervention.
In the summer of 2011, our interns (Ayanna Brummel, Francesca Locklear, Dan Smith and Brittany Jones) produced a project called Transportation and Resource Reference Indicating Provided Services (TRRIPS), delineating the most frequented HIV services in Durham county and the manner of transportation patients use to access these services. Here they are presenting their project to the Center:
In 2010, the CHPIR interns collaborated on a cookbook of healthy and affordable recipes which they named CHEFS, Cooking Healthy Easy Foods while Saving. The cookbook received praise from around the university for it’s aims to help low-income families and people with chronic health issues to eat healthy. The Duke Obesity Prevention Program even decided to include some of the CHEFS recipes in the mailings sent out to their SHAPE program participants. (Full Duke news article)
The educational activities of CHPIR are unique in two ways:
1) much of our teaching is explicitly interdisciplinary and multisectoral
2) our teaching extends beyond Duke University to other North Carolina universities and to current professionals around the world
- NCCAF Mural
In the Community
CHPIR has expanded its educational mission to include training within the communities in which we do our research, both in the US and abroad, seeking ways to actively increase the capacity of these communities. These capacity-building activities can be independent from the research projects themselves, for example, the NCCAF Americorps team and the international sector do community trainings for HIV/AIDS, but this mindset is also built-in to the way we work with partner organizations.
- 2010 CHPIR Interns with Meika McEachern
The faculty of CHPIR actively promote Duke University’s mission as an education entity through teaching of courses, mentoring of students within our research and existing internships, advising students on their own research through independent studies and providing grant funding for student projects.