Community Health Engagement Program

***UEP 307: For internship hours and activities, please click on each agency logo***


 About Community Health Engagement

The Community Health Engagement (CHE) program was developed in 2011 with support from two Kaiser Permanente Southern California Community Benefit funding grants to explore the ways in which Occidental College can create and expand public health opportunities for students through course work, internship and independent study opportunities.

With guidance from a diverse 18-member Planning Advisory Group of students, staff and faculty representing the college’s Center for Community Based Learning, Office of Community Engagement, Career Development Center, Office of Pre-Health Advising, Biology, Diplomacy and World Affairs, Economics, History, Kinesiology, Philosophy, Sociology, and Urban and Environmental Policy departments (thank you all!), the CHE program successfully identified an engagement model for students which is being implemented through a new class UEP 307: Public Health Practicum.  In addition a proposal for an interdisciplinary public health minor has been developed and submitted to the Dean of the College. It will be reviewed Fall 2013 by the Academic Planning Committee of Occidental College.

If you are a community clinic or a health focused community based organization and would like to host our public health interns, please contact the CHE program staff for more information.  If you are an Occidental College student who is interested in public health courses on campus, you can view a sample list of course offerings which have been compiled by CHE program staff by clicking here.

You can read more about what our students are doing in the field and learn about our current community partner sites by scrolling down the page to “How do students make a difference at our community partner sites?” Thanks for visiting our webpage to learn more about the Community Health Engagement program.

MEND HIV1       Foothill P Walking Club

HIV education & outreach at MEND           Walking program at Foothill Unity

 MEND 2           Promotora certificate
Mammogram sign ups at MEND                Appreciating our promotora partners



Contact Program Staff

Heng Lam Foong
Program Director



Community Health Engagement Program in the News

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Community Health Engagement Program Publications

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Community Health Engagement Program Blog Posts

UEP 307 Public Health Practicum students intern at the following community partner sites:





How do students make a difference at our community partner sites?

“(On meeting with a husband and wife with diabetes) At the end of the session the couple seemed very motivated and expressed their gratitude for the time we spent with them… the woman told us that they do not talk about issues concerning diabetes at home, which is why she was so excited to finally talk to her husband about the importance of their health.”

Verónica Ponce de León ‘13 (Biology), MEND Clinic

*Click here for a detailed description, internship hours and requirements for interning at MEND*


“… We are currently working on a list of dental providers that accept Medi-Cal for children… The list is important because families who attended the mobile dental clinic need follow-up work for their children, and this list is going to be used to refer them. Navigating the healthcare system is very intimidating. I had difficulty calling some dentists when they would say they accepted “open” Med-Cal or went into complex details. Many of the families do not speak English as a first language so I am sure calling dentists would take the time they do not have…”

Maya Kumar ‘13 (DWA major, Spanish minor), Foothill Unity Center

*Click here for a detailed description, internship hours and requirements for interning at Foothill Unity Center*


“…past week I was given a client who recently lost her mother and was simultaneously fired from her job. I was able to compile a list of 15 recent job postings that directly related to her intensive labor area of interest along with three grief counseling groups in her area.”

Maggie Nelson ‘14 (Economics), ChapCare

*Click here for a detailed description, internship hours and requirements for interning at ChapCare*


“A (cancer patient’s) cousin phoned us looking for various resources for medical-legal issues, foreclosure, and medical supplies financial issues. But the main issue was the family’s foreclosure on Monday. We were able to come up with an idea that the CLRC would write a letter to the court informing the judge that the family is in the process of looking for resources in the hope of forestalling the foreclosure process.”

Joshua Wodka ‘14 (Politics), CLRC

*Click here for a detailed description, internship hours and requirements for interning at CLRC*