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Day in the Life Stories

Chelsey Chemelar

Learn More About Chelsey

Our Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) project for Cuyahoga County began in 2009 when over 80 community agency representatives were convened to complete a Local Public Health System Performance Assessment (LPHSPA). I was tasked with helping coordinate and carry out this extensive project. This has been an exciting opportunity for me and has given me a wide range of experiences since every day proves to be a little different. Some days my schedule is filled with meetings between myself and colleagues, community partners, and upper level management. Other days I work at my computer developing materials, reports, and managing the health assessment process.

This project has provided me with so much experience and knowledge that I feel like I’ve gained 10 years’ worth of experience in one year! The support from my staff and their confidence in my work abilities has really enabled me to thrive and make the project where it is today. Moreover, the hands on experience you get through PHAP is incredibly important in working in public health, or really any field. Gaining direct and relevant experience is so critical to moving forward in your career. Furthermore, I think working for the CDC has given me instant credibility. When first coming to my host site, I had no direct work experience in a health department but I could say that I was hired by CDC and, to me that meant that CDC thought I had the ability to be successful in my assignment. I also think that CDC is a great organization and that local health departments respect the work CDC does and appreciates the fact that CDC supported a staff person to come in for two years to build capacity within the local organization. Overall, this has been a great experience that I honestly don’t think I would have been able to get through any other program or position!

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