Public Information Intern; Public Health Education Intern-Larimer County Department of Public Health and Environment

Posted on August 12th, 2009

Larimer County Department of Public Health and Environment Internship opportunities, Fall 2009 (public information, communications, public health education)

Job Title: Public Information Intern; Public Health Education Intern

Organization: Larimer County Department of Health and Environment

Reports to: Jane Viste, Public Information Officer

Qualifications: Coursework completed or demonstrated experience in writing, editing, basic design and/or basic coursework in health education.  See below for special projects requiring more specific experience or for graduate students.

An internship at the Larimer County Department offers multiple opportunities for either an undergraduate or a graduate student to:  learn about the day-to-day functions of a local public health department; create tangible products that will help to inform and educate Larimer County’s citizens about public health situations; apply risk communication principles to public information activities; gain rare and valuable experience within a context of pandemic flu (H1N1) planning and response; bolster a resume and/or portfolio with a wide range of products created, and used, during the internship.

Basic Information:

  • Internships are unpaid; if travel is required, mileage would be reimbursed.
  • At least 12 hours per week required for best use of time and completion of projects.  Minimum one semester commitment.
  • Projects available for undergraduate or graduate students, depending upon skills and interests
  • Location: Fort Collins office, 1525 Blue Spruce, (near JAX).  On bus route.  Some assignments might be appropriate for completing at home.  
  • More than one intern possible…


Due to the H1N1 pandemic, most public information/health education internship projects in fall, 2009, will be related to H1N1 information/education and other activities.   However, students will also have opportunities to work on other ongoing public health issues.

This list is meant to provide multiple examples of what an intern could do at the department.   The intern could focus on one area or could combine activities that best represent his or her skills, interests, and internship requirements.

Assist Public Information Officer (PIO) with all public information activities including:

  • Writing/editing on various projects
  • Updating website
  • Working with media requests  (press releases, arranging interviews etc)
  • Attend planning meetings (fall  immunization clinics)
  • Promotion of vaccination clinics
  • Writing/design of annual report

Assist with community education activities including:

  • Community education on seasonal and H1N1 pandemic flu
  • Community education on flu vaccination (seasonal and H1N1)
  • Create and update PowerPoint presentations
  • Assist in delivering presentations to appropriate community groups
  • Assist as information/education liaison to CSU and Front Range Community College
  • Assist in arranging and presenting information/education to mountain communities (Red Feather Lakes, Estes Park)

Assist with creating and updating databases

Because of the need to get information out quickly to a wide audience during a pandemic or other public health emergencies, our databases need to be current and comprehensive.  Databases are used for disseminating information via e-mail, Blast Fax, or telephone in some cases.  Intern would need to know Office Excel 2007. Examples of databases that need updating or need to be created include:

  • Agencies that serve Larimer County’s  special/vulnerable populations
  • Media lists
  • Public Information lead contacts (e.g. PIOs from schools, health care facilities, government, businesses etc)
  • Create a database for rural community centers/hubs of information (e.g. Red Feather Lakes,  Livermore)

Assure cultural appropriateness of public information

  • Spanish translation of materials and messages
  • Community education/outreach to Latino communities
  • Research and develop an ongoing source of translation assistance for emergency communications (CSU foreign language dept?  Front Range students?)

Graphic design and preparation of materials

  • Prepare/design flyers, posters, web information
  • Bulletin boards and displays for public events

Social Networks

  • Set up, create, and update Twitter messages from the health department

Special projects requiring some experience or for graduate students:

  1. Assist with writing and updating public health plans (graduate student or student experienced in planning)
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response
  • Larimer County Pandemic Flu Plan
  • Communications plans
  • Mass vaccination plan (information component)
    • Work with department administration to compile health indicators for health department programs and reports.
    • Help design electronic surveys (Zoomerang)
  1. Project for student comfortable with basic biostatistics and evaluation:


  • Assist PIO with day-to-day activities
  • Organize newspaper archives
  • Assist PIO with updating databases
  • Assist in scheduling of and preparation for health fairs, public presentations etc.
  • Update internal communications (bulletin boards, employee updates etc)

To apply: Send a cover letter and resume to Jane Viste, preferably by e-mail.  Include date you can start, hours available, and reason you are interested in this internship.

For more information on internship opportunities at the Larimer County Health Department, contact:

Jane Viste, MPH

Public Information Officer

Larimer County Health Department