Each year the Office of Epidemiology selects individuals who are interested in working on public health issues as a way to learn gain experience in a public health setting. In particular, the Office selects those who are interested in expanding their knowledge and gaining experience in the field of epidemiology. The Summer/Temporary Epidemiology Assignment is designed to create experiences that meet departmental needs and are aligned with students' abilities, professional and/or academic goals, and areas of interest.
These assignments, or temporary positions, are usually unpaid. However, there may be funds available for pay, depending on office resources. Temporary staff may obtain school credit for their work hours in accordance with their college guidelines and approval. These assignments will fulfill most college internship and practicum requirements. Please note there must be a student agreement in place with your school prior to working at Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) and you are responsible for all paperwork required by your learning institution.
The assignments will:
- Enhance educational aspects of the career development process;
- Provide a system of accountability and encourage professionalism;
- Provide an opportunity for students to develop positive work habits;
- Provide an opportunity to test aptitude for or interest in a selected field;
- Meet the needs of the Office of Epidemiology;
- Be vital to MCDPH operations.
Type of Projects/Assignments
In the past, assignees have worked on projects such as:
- Communication assessments among health care providers
- Heat-associated death surveillance
- Analysis of the 24/7 disease reporting line
- Pertussis analysis and report
- Annual Outbreak Report
- Influenza surveillance
- Report on the timeliness of disease reporting and case investigations
- Analysis of specific diseases (pertussis, meningococcal, legionella, etc)
- Rabies webpage development
- Report on unintentional poison-related deaths
- Outbreak investigation or assisted in an emergency response event
In participating in these projects, the assignee may conduct activities such as entering data into a database, conducting simple analyses of data, interviewing an outbreak case (ill person), requesting medical records, organizing files, etc.
About the Office of Epidemiology
The Office of Epidemiology at the Maricopa County Department of Public Health is responsible for monitoring the community's health status. The office collects, analyzes, and distributes public health data to MCDPH programs and to external organizations and individuals seeking information on disease in Maricopa County.
- Primary functions include:
- Investigate and respond to disease outbreaks
- Track and investigate communicable disease cases
- Participate in implementing interventions to stop the spread of disease
- Plan for and respond to public health emergencies in coordination with Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management (MCDEM)
- Produce reports and presentations on diseases and health conditions in Maricopa County
- Conduct studies of local public health importance
- Collaborates with other offices and programs including:
- MCDPH, Office of Community Health Nursing
- MCDPH, Office of Preparedness and Response
- MCDPH, Office of Vital Registration
- Maricopa County, Environmental Services
- Arizona Department of Health Services
- Maricopa County, Office of the Medical Examiner
- Tribal communities in Maricopa County
MCDPH responsibilities to Assignees:
- Due to the extensive work responsibilities of MCDPH epidemiologists, it is not possible to create an individual project or work assignment tailored directly to an assignee.
- However, the Office of Epidemiology will consider each assignee's skills, knowledge, and experience and will attempt to match him/her to an appropriate project.
- The Office will provide guidance and support and will assist the assignee in completing academic requirements.