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Health Promot Pract. 2014 Mar;15(1 Suppl):71S-9S. doi: 10.1177/1524839913509269.

A Regional Public Health Field Placement Program: making an IMPACT.

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  • 11University of Alabama at Birmingham's School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL, USA.


Beginning in 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, made provisions in its Public Health Training Center cooperative agreements for field placements. This article describes best practices and lessons learned establishing and managing the South Central Public Health Partnership's Interns and Mentors Program for ACTion (IMPACT) Field Placement Program, which was initially funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Centers for Public Health Preparedness Cooperative agreement in 2002. The IMPACT program is based on a six-step process that has been developed and refined over its 10-year history: (a) identifying field placement opportunities, (b) marketing field experience opportunities to students, (c) selecting students seeking field experience opportunities, (d) placing students with practice partners, students with practice partners, (e) evaluating student progress toward field experience objectives, and (f) evaluating the program. This article describes the program's structure and processes, delineates the roles of its academic and practice partners, discusses evidence of its effectiveness, and describes lessons learned from its decade-long history. Hopefully, this information will facilitate the establishment, management and evaluation of internship and field placement programs in other Public Health Training Centers and academic public health programs.


college/community partnerships; program planning and evaluation; university/college health; workforce development

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