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Host Site FAQs

The 2016 host site application period has closed. Applications for next year will open in January 2017.

May a CDC field assignee be designated as an associate's host site supervisor?
A CDC field assignee may be designated as the host site supervisor; however, a state, tribal, local, or territorial (STLT) staff member must be designated as a secondary host site supervisor. The secondary host site 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 bachelor’s- or master’s-level graduate 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.

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 will be a good fit for both parties.

Can the associate help with administrative duties?
Associates are required to achieve program competencies [PDF-328KB] and meet learning requirements; therefore associates must spend the majority of their time on activities that support their professional development. Associates may provide some support to public health programs and projects; 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.

Am I required to identify a host site 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 host site 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.

What are my 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 sites are required to provide 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 employee programs are offered to regular employees, host sites are expected to provide comparable programs to the associate. Host sites must be willing and able to pay for associate’s local travel and training costs.

Who is eligible to host a PHAP associates?  
Public health agencies such as state, tribal, local and territorial public health organizations; community-based organizations; public health institutes and associations; academic institutions; and CDC quarantine stations are eligible to submit an application to host an associate.

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.

How will any performance issues with the associates be addressed and resolved?
Host site supervisors should work closely with the designated CDC 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 supervisor, who will work in conjunction with the host site supervisor to resolve the issue.