Community Health Engagement
Occidental College students who are interested in public health can participate in semester long community based learning opportunities to acquire valuable field experience and learn core public health skills including communication, cultural humility, problem solving, initiation and teamwork.
What is Public Health?
For more information about Oxy's public health program, please visit the Public Health minor website.
The planning and implementation of the Community Health Engagement program is funded by Kaiser Permanente Southern California Community Benefit. One product of CHE is the development of the UEP 307 Public Health Practicum class which was jointly designed with community partners to meet relevant community health needs while providing students with real-world experiences that develop new insights and skills.
- UEP 307 Public Health Practicum combines class lectures and discussion, reflection and service to introduce students to myriad community health issues, concerns and solutions.
- The practicum is offered in the Spring, and also as a summer internship. As practicum hours and days vary for each partner location, interested students should carefully review the organizational information below, and contact the course instructor to verify hours before registering for the class to avoid any scheduling conflicts.
- Students enrolled in the practicum spend two 4-hour blocks (8 hours/week) in the field in addition to class meetings.
- Information on summer public health internships can be found under Jobs & Internships.
Community health partners include:
ChapCare is a Federally Qualified Health Center with five clinic locations in the San Gabriel Valley. Interns work at ChapCare Del Mar with clinic patients to research and link them with non-medical health resources, such as housing, nutrition and employment, as these needs are determined and requested by ChapCare clinicians. This site is appropriate for students who are interested in understanding the social determinants of health by helping clinicians and patients to research, identify and link with necessary health and social service resources. ChapCare interns must be problem solvers and have the initiative to organize, coordinate and engage directly with community members. Interns at ChapCare will be interning alongside a community health worker (promotora) from Esperanza Community Housing Corporation.
Practicum hours: Tuesday and Thursday from 9am to 1pm
Every Woman Counts (EWC) provides free clinical breast exams, mammograms, pelvic exams, and Pap tests to California’s underserved women. The mission of the EWC is to save lives by preventing and reducing the devastating effects of cancer for Californians through education, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, and integrated preventive services, with special emphasis on the underserved. Interns will work EWC-LA’s outreach & education component to help identify hard-to-reach, rarely/never screened women; schedule & conduct tailored health education sessions; follow up with those women who are educated (in classes or at events) to ensure a smooth transition into screening; and provide outreach at community health events. This partner is appropriate for interns who are interested in understanding the systemic and cultural barriers in women’s health, and want to play an active role in improving health education and awareness, as well as promote access to early detection, diagnosis and treatment. EWC-LA interns will work throughout Los Angeles County with the Program Director and community health workers.
Practicum hours: 4 hours during the week and 4 hours during the weekend.
Foothill Unity Center is a Community Action Agency (CAA) in Monrovia and Pasadena, California. Interns will support the Center’s food, social service and health programs. Interns lead the Center’s walking/fitness group to build a rapport with clients; help with food distribution and healthy recipe development; and support the intake process for new and renewing families. During Wednesday clinics, interns will partner with clients to help research and locate health & social service resources. Interns also have the opportunity to attend community meetings and events to learn more about the various health and social service programs, issues and resources in the Center’s service area. Every year Foothill Unity Center has marquee community events such as Back-to-School, Mobile Dental Clinic, Thanksgiving and Holiday programs that interns play a role in from registration to day-of event support. This site is appropriate for interns who are interested in hands-on learning about non-profit, multi-service community health organizations, and the many roles that they play to meet the diverse needs that affect the health and well-being in under-resourced communities. Foothill Unity Center interns must be flexible and be willing to be a part of all projects, big and small.
Practicum hours: Pasadena location Tuesday 9am to 11:30am, Wednesday and Friday from 1pm to 3:30pm OR Monrovia location Monday 1pm to 3:30pm, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 11:30am
The goal of the Los Angeles Urban League's Health Initiative is to improve the overall health and well-being of the Park Mesa Heights community. To achieve this goal, the Health Initiative is focusing on youth & family advocacy, health advocacy, and outdoor healthy living. In addition the Health Initiative is also looking inward and considering how it can provide programming to encourage healthy behaviors among the staff of the LAUL. To that end, it is supporting the implementation of a Wellness initiative which will include activities that can motivate incremental behavior change of employees while they are at work, at home and in the community. This site is appropriate for students who are interested in nutrition and physical activity, and can translate their knowledge and skills into motivating engagement and participation. Interns will also have the opportunity to participate in the LAUL's community health education and outreach activities, some such as the healthy cooking classes are in the evening so interns at this site must be willing to intern on the occasional evening.
Practicum hours: TBD
MEND is a poverty relief organization in Pacoima, California. Interns partner one-on-one with patients who are enrolled in MEND’s diabetic health education course to clarify course material, support healthy lifestyle and disease management goals, as well as help to locate necessary resources such as mental health counseling and vision exams. Interns also help to develop workshops, education and resource materials on pertinent health topics such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and women’s health. Workshop participants are then linked with local, low-cost screening resources. This site is appropriate for interns who are interested in the various factors that affect health especially among low-income, Latino immigrants. MEND interns must be bilingual Spanish/English, and have the initiative to organize, coordinate and engage directly with community members. Interns at MEND will be interning alongside a community health worker (promotora) from Esperanza Community Housing Corporation.
Practicum hours: Anytime between 8am to 5pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, and five Saturdays from 8am to 12pm to support the Diabetes 101 classes. Weekday hours must be completed in 4-hour blocks. MEND is closed on Mondays.
Two community health workers (promotores) trained by Esperanza’s Health Programs will participate in class and intern alongside Oxy students at two of the internship organizations (sites can change). This collaboration with Esperanza offers a unique opportunity for students to learn about the community health worker model, as an important and effective way to promote culturally and linguistically appropriate health education and prevention in underserved communities. Equally as important, this partnership introduces to, and shares the Occidental College campus, with our community partners.
1882 Campus Rd.
- Mailing Address:
Occidental College, UEPI (MS-M1), 1600 Campus Road, Los Angeles, CA 90041