Field experiences and partnerships with community organizations and institutions are important aspects of Bucknell University’s programs in public health and in the ecology of health. To provide internships and experiences in health programs, we have partnerships with the four major hospital systems in our area. While clinical internships of long and short duration are available, our emphasis is on social and community aspects of health. Thus, when students work within hospitals we emphasize sociological observation rather than biomedical internships.
We also work with a variety of community institutions to study local health issues. Some of these partnerships are with the hospitals and with other organizations focused on health professions. However, we also collaborate with school districts, economic development organizations, environmental organizations, urban planners, and others not directly involved with health services to work on community health problems. We are particularly interested in “health impact studies”: ways in which government policies not explicitly targeted at health concerns nonetheless have health impacts for citizens. This includes working on blighted housing, pedestrian-friendly communities, traffic problems, environmental pollution and justice, food and diet issues, and community empowerment around health concerns.
Although grouped in this focus area, many of these projects overlap with other area. They are all projects which are currently being managed, directed, assisted with or initiated by the Place Studies Initiative staff, student interns and affiliated faculty, and they are in various stages of development.
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