Each public health associate is assigned to a designated host health agency and host site supervisor(s) for two one-year assignments beginning in July of each year. Host sites from state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments are encouraged to apply. Assignments must be suitable for a recent college graduate (BA/BS) with little or no work experience in public health. For further assignment and program details, please see About PHAP.
Host sites are selected based on the scope, quality, and diversity of the experience offered to the associate reflected in the initial host site application. Selection criteria are specified during the application process and typically include
- Host site year one and year two detailed description of activities and deliverables
- Ability of the host site to support the associate as an employee (e.g., resources, training needs for the associate, travel support for training, etc.)
- Demonstrated capacity to provide associates with employment training (e.g., safety; security; information technology; standards of conduct, in accordance with state and local requirements)
- Assurance that the host site will provide
program-specific training to enable and enhance the
associate's work performance
Host site supervisors receive an initial orientation conducted by CDC PHAP staff prior to the associate's arrival and participate in conference calls at various intervals during the course of the fellowship.
Host health agencies are strongly encouraged to provide financial support and opportunities for the associate to participate in public health activities, which will expand the associate's scope and depth of public health knowledge and/or increase the associate's job-related capabilities. Should associates be required to participate in or attend meetings on behalf of the host health agency, the agency will assume responsibility for any expenses incurred by the associate. This includes travel expenses (e.g., mileage, hotel, flight, per diem) and costs associated with developing materials. Associates are expected to be integrated into the host site and treated as an entry-level employee. If employee programs are offered to regular employees, host sites are expected to provide comparable programs and financial support to the associate. Likewise, CDC assumes responsibility for costs incurred by associates performing duties or travel required by CDC.
Host Site Supervisor Requirements
Host site supervisors are critical to the success of PHAP and help ensure both meaningful and professional development opportunities exist and applicable performance requirements are achieved within the assignment period.
Professional supervision of the associate is the responsibility of the host site supervisor. Supervision requirements of an associate may be substantial, particularly at the start of a new assignment. Host site supervisors are expected to assist the associate's integration into the host site, oversee the training and field activities of the associate, ensure the associate is familiar with relevant techniques in a given program specialty, and encourage the overall professional development of the associate. Host site supervisors provide day-to-day activities that offer "hands-on" public health field experience and help the associate achieve all of the PHAP competencies.
Host site supervisors are required to be full-time staff, have prior supervisory experience, and be actively involved in the programmatic and daily activities of the associate. In addition, the primary supervisor must devote four hours per week providing direct supervision, mentoring, guidance, and on-the-job training.
Responsibilities for the host site supervisor include
- Orienting the associate to division/branch areas, staff, norms, policies, and protocols at the host site
- Planning, organizing, directing, and coordinating associate activities
- Providing support for required program-specific trainings, relevant to the associate's work duties
- Involving the associate in two-way communication
- Monitoring assignments to ensure meaningful work experiences and activities take place
- Assisting the associate in acquiring assignment-specific performance requirements
- Providing regular and constructive feedback to the associate on his or her performance
- Ensuring completion, review, and approval of associate performance evaluations
- Documenting concurrence with routine time and attendance reporting (e.g., annual and sick leave, credit, and travel time)
- Providing ongoing opportunities for professional development
- Communicating with the CDC PHAP supervisor to identify and resolve issues regarding the assignment