Community Health Internship Experiences

One of the degree requirements for MSUM’s B.S. Degree in Community Health is an internship. Students nearing degree completion must complete at least 10 credits of internship with the purpose of gaining real world experience in their field of study. The School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership checked in Pamela Detienne and Eva Albright, two Community Health students completing their internships this semester.

Pamela Detienne’s Experience as an Intern for Sanford Health Clinic
“I am interning at Sanford Health Clinic on Broadway with the Internal Medicine department and working directly with the Health Coaches and Physicians through the Respiratory Therapy Department. I am a Respiratory Therapist (National Credentials) and a Certified Tobacco Educator through Mayo Clinic. I have returned to college for a Community Health Degree hoping it will help me reach people in the community setting.

My focus is patients that are tobacco users who are interested in quitting tobacco. A plan is made and medication is discussed with the patient and their physician when a patient is ready to quit. If prescription medication is the game plan, a discussion with the physician is needed and a prescription is sent to the patient’s pharmacy. If nicotine replacement is the plan, then dosing is discussed and information about the quit line is given. Nicotine replacement can be purchased across the counter and a plan is put into place. Encouragement is also given to the patient to join the state quit line. The quit line will help them wean down from the nicotine replacement and also helps them through the tough times. If the patient is not interested in joining the quit line they can return to the clinic, free of charge, for more information and counseling.

I also help with asthma education. Education is given to increase awareness on proper technique of inhalers, when to call the physician and what the medication is for. I am able to be in the clinic under the Million Hearts Grant through the Chronic Disease Program of North Dakota Department of Health. A power point presentation will be given to the nurses of the Internal Medicine Department on “Alternatives to Nicotine” on April 18th. I will be the presenter of the power point and the focus is on E-cigarettes, Hookahs and shisha.” —-Pamela Detienne

Eva Albright’s Experience as an Intern for Family HealthCare
“I am a Community Health major. I will be graduating this May. The story of my internship starts back in September of 2012 when I entered AmeriCorps. AmeriCorps is similar to Peace Corps, but serves in American communities. I served as a Health Coach in a newly added fitness center inside Family HealthCare, a Federally Qualified Health Center that serves Cass and Clay Counties.
During my term of service, 900 hours in one year, I became active in committees charged with employee wellness and the integration of Lifestyle Medicine into the Clinical Process. I also began participating in some strategic community outreach and grant seeking opportunities. When my term of service was complete I was invited by the Chief Business Development Officer (CBDO) to stay on as her intern.

My Internship with the CBDO centered on assessing community needs, researching sustainable solutions, strategic program development, and grant writing. Major projects have included coordinating the Car Seat program, serving on the Giving Hearts Day committee, establishing numerous community partnerships, serving on the Community Mental Health Collaborative as a team member and panelist, and coordinating a HRSA grant proposal to fund Behavioral Health Integration in the primary care setting.

This internship has definitely helped me to grow in my ability to critically assess the feasibility of a solution and remain objective. Conversely, I walk through the lobby every morning and see the patients that benefit from the work I do. Being actively connected to the community has helped me to remain passionate and to drive forward on tough projects, knowing they will improve the lives of the people and community we serve.” —-Eva Albright


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