May a CDC field assignee be designated as an associate's local supervisor?
A CDC field assignee may be designated as the primary supervisor; however, a state, tribal, local, or territorial (STLT) staff member must be designated as a secondary supervisor. The secondary supervisor will serve a key role in ensuring the associate has broad exposure to STLT practices and resources, as well as access to training opportunities.
May I request an associate with specific background experience and qualifications?
Assignments planned for the associate must be suitable for a recent college graduate (BA/BS) with little or no work experience in public health. PHAP selects associates on the basis of strict eligibility requirements. If the assignment has specific requirements (e.g., a bachelor of science degree in environmental health), these should be described in the application. However, specific requirements might limit the number of qualified associates. Assignments must not be written for a master's-level graduate.
What are the basic requirements for associates?
Applicants who wish to become a public health associate should have a strong interest in frontline service careers in public health, a strong commitment to public service, and an interest in developing strong public health programmatic and operations skills. PHAP applicants must fulfill the eligibility requirements.
How will I know the associate I receive will be a good fit for my office/program?
Each applicant is carefully interviewed, and only the most outstanding candidates are selected from a highly competitive applicant pool. Once the final candidates are selected, a matching process begins to ensure that the associate and host site match will be mutually satisfying and meet program requirements.
Can the associate help with administrative duties?
Associates may provide support to public health programs and projects, including administrative duties. However, these types of activities should represent a small proportion of their overall responsibilities and be equivalent to those of other entry-level public health professionals. Associates are required to achieve program competencies [PDF-97KB] and meet learning requirements; therefore associates must spend the majority of their time on activities that support their professional development.
Am I required to identify a local supervisor(s) and work space for the associate before submitting the application?
Yes. To be eligible for consideration, all host site applications must include the name and contact information of the local supervisor(s). In addition, the application must demonstrate that the agency is prepared to provide the associate with adequate work space, equipment, and mentoring so they can be a successful addition to your team.
Am I allowed to apply for more than one associate?
Yes. However, there is no guarantee that you will be assigned more than one associate, and each associate assignment must be unique, including two different one-year assignments.
Do the two one-year assignments have to be in different program areas?
It is encouraged that the two one-year assignments are in two different program areas to support the associates' public health development and experience. PHAP selects host sites on the basis of their demonstrated capacity to provide each associate with a broad experience in public health. For further details, visit Become a Host Site.
What are my health agency's financial obligations if selected to host an associate?
Although associates are funded by CDC, they should be integrated into host sites and treated as employees. Host health agencies and supervisors are required to provide financial support and opportunities for the associate to participate in public health activities that will expand the associate's scope and depth of public health knowledge or increase the associate's job-related capabilities. The associate should attend trainings and meetings just as other local public heath staff members. If associates are 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. If employee programs are offered to regular employees, host sites are expected to provide comparable programs and financial support to the associate.
Can nongovernment agencies (nonprofit organizations) host an associate or partner with a state, tribal, local, or territorial public health agency to host an associate?
No. At this time, host sites are defined as state, tribal, local, and territorial public health agencies.
I would like to partner with another health department to host an associate. Is this possible?
Yes. Partnering with another health department is allowed. PHAP especially encourages partnerships with different “types” of health departments; for example, a local health department partnering with a tribal health department. This type of partnership gives the associates exposure to different health departments. Please note that the locations of the health departments must be within reasonable commuting distance from one another, which is defined by CDC policy as no more than 49 miles apart.
If an associate is not acceptable for our program, how will this be addressed and resolved?
Host site supervisors should work closely with the designated CDC PHAP supervisor to ensure the needs of the associate and host site are being met. Issues or concerns should be brought to the attention of the CDC PHAP supervisor, who will work in conjunction with the site to resolve the issue.