Health Policy & Planning Internships

photo of bike and pedestrian signThe Health Policy & Planning (HPP) Internship Program is designed to provide work opportunities and practical learning experiences in public health, policy, planning and research, with an emphasis in health equity and place-based primary prevention.

HPP Framework: Primary Prevention & Health Equity

There is a growing recognition that where we live, work, play and go to school shape our health. HPP focuses on building healthy, equitable communities that prevent people from getting sick in the first place. HPP works to ensure all people have the opportunity for health and wellbeing and seeks to build health equity by addressing the root causes of poor health, such as the social, economic, and physical conditions around us. To achieve this goal, HPP employs expertise in policy, planning, research, equity, epidemiology, communications, and advocacy. HPP has a particular focus on supporting populations with higher rates of preventable health issues and in places with the fewest opportunities for health. HPP is currently focused on four areas of work: 1) Stable and affordable housing: protects health and provides the ability to engage in healthy opportunities, 2) Complete neighborhoods: make it easy for residents to be healthy every day in their own communities, 3) High quality education: creates pathways to better health, and 4) Strong local economy: builds household financial security for all.

Focus of Internship Projects

The San Mateo County Health System is seeking one (1) Health Policy and Planning Intern to join the HPP team, a program within the Public Health, Policy and Planning Division. HPP is looking for a student who is highly motivated, hardworking, a team player, responsible, and creative. HPP is a fast-paced environment where organizational skills and self-motivation are critical. Below is the project we are recruiting an intern to work on through the Spring 2016. 

Project Overview: Data Intern for the Health & Equity Indicators Project  (Deadline: 12/18/15)

The focus of this internship is to explore health and equity issues in San Mateo County from a data-driven perspective. The intern will help develop the evidence base to support HPP’s activities to advance health and equity in the county. The intern will have the opportunity to work on different data projects during the course of the internship.

Specific responsibilities expected of the intern include:

  • Conducting literature and internet searches
  • Compiling existing data from secondary sources
  • Cleaning and analyzing data, both spatial and non-spatial, using Excel, ArcGIS, and/or statistical software
  • Developing tables, charts, maps, and other data visualization graphics
  • Synthesizing and disseminating data findings for diverse audiences

The intern will be asked to complete some or all of the above responsibilities for different HPP projects. Potential projects the intern will work on include but are not limited to:

  • Developing health and equity measures and objectives for San Mateo County, which will involve analyzing and visualizing health, sociodemographic, economic, and environmental data
  • Updating HPP’s community health profiles 
  • Developing a health and equity data repository to store and share data
  • Developing an internal data and resources library



  • Current students in graduate school and recent graduates (Master's degree or higher) — up to one year after graduation date — are eligible to apply. You may not be a current San Mateo County employee.
  • Successful applicants will demonstrate one or more of the following:
    • You, or a member of your family, have been adversely affected by health inequities related to any of the following:You, or a member of your family, have been adversely affected by health inequities related to any of the following:
      a) systemic failures of the social, physical or economic environment
      b) live or grew up in a low-income neighborhood
      c) are the first in your family to attend higher education, or
      e) have experienced discrimination due to race, ethnicity or other social or economic situations.
    • Have a deep passion for addressing health inequities, and have experience working in programs that promote equity. This can be through a multitude of intervention types and variety of locations or organizations.

Internship Term & Pay

The HPP Spring Internship is from January through May.  Reasonable timeframe adjustments can be negotiated. Interns must commit to working a minimum of 16 hours per week. Graduate students are paid $18.91 per hour.

How to Apply

We are now accepting pring internship applications. Internship applications should be submitted to or faxed to (650) 573-2116 with the required attachments below. Only completed applications will be reviewed.  Please contact us if you do not receive confirmation that we received your application. If selected, you will be invited for an interview. In-person interviews are strongly preferred, but telephone interviews can be arranged if needed.

  1. Cover letter
  2. Completed application 
  3. Resume


Have questions? Please review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or contact:

Rosa Torpis
Program Coordinator
225 37th Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94403


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