LHD and MPH Practicum Partnership
As many local health departments (LHDs) in Montana work towards receiving accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) the process can become overwhelming and require additional short-term staff. The MPHA recognized this need and initiated a partnership with the Masters of Public Health program at the University of Montana. By utilizing UM students interested in public and community health through their practicum requirement we are able to increase the public health workforce across Montana. Practicum opportunities vary greatly and can include works that support the accreditation process or assist the health department with other projects. Student practicums allow for practical application of educational concepts. Practicum requirements include measureable tasks to be completed in 160 hours of hands on work experience, 40 hours to write an experience report, and concludes with an hour-long defense. Practicum hours are scheduled between the site mentor and student; hours may fall outside of the traditional academic calendar.
The MPHA website has been designed as a place to bring together LHDs and students needing to complete practicums. There are two different ways the site works:
· Posted Practicum: LHDs will post opportunities as they need students, much like a job posting, and students can apply for these practicums.
· Student Profile: If a student knows they will need to complete their practicum within the next calendar year they can post their information on the Student Profile page. From this point, a LHD will contact the student to arrange a practicum opportunity.
This partnership strives to build lasting relationships between MPHA, local health departments, the MPH program at the University of Montana and future public health professionals. If your health department is interesting in this partnership more information can be found on the MPHA website under the Practicum heading or by contacting Lora Wier, email firstname.lastname@example.org.