An unexpected experience with the politics of public health

Today I was presented with an unexpected task. It was one of those days when most people were out of the office for one reason or another, and I was the only one from the STD team who was actually present in the Berkeley office. It also happened that some U.S. House staffers requested a report on HPV vaccine delivery in the State of California, to be completed by the end of the day. Given the lack of manpower and the relative flexibility in my schedule, I was asked to help contribute to this report! Granted, all I did was research some relevant statistics and conduct a lit review, but the fact that I was able to contribute to something like this in any capacity was very exciting to me. I’m really excited to see where this goes – for myself, for the agency, and, if it goes far enough, for a potentially nationwide movement!

Besides that, I have some other exciting opportunities coming up. Tomorrow I will be traveling to Richmond, CA to attend a 3-hour training on the CDC evaluation framework, which is very relevant to the work I am currently doing and the work I want to pursue in the future. I will also have the chance to visit some clinical sites that participate in the Patient-Delivered Partner Therapy program I am working on, which will be a great experience because most of my work has been with collected quantitative data. It will be good for me to gain some experience “in the field.”

It’s crazy to think that I have almost finished up my 4th week at this internship – that puts me at 1/3 of the way through. Given how much I’ve learned already, I’m excited for the next 8 weeks. 🙂

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