Policy Internship Program

Welcome to NACHC’s Internship Opportunities

A Look into Your Potential Career Path
“At NACHC, I learned how to navigate political reality, time constraints, deadlines and other obstacles in the completion of my projects. This experience was very much a real-word exercise in the public policy making process and I was motivated to succeed by the amount of trust that my supervisors had in me to complete my work in a satisfactory manner.”
– Joshua Fleming, BA 
MPP Candidate, 2017
University of Michigan- Ann Arbor

Internships are often a first step in one’s professional career. They allow individuals to apply their knowledge from the classroom to the workplace. NACHC is excited to offer internship opportunities for students and recent graduates year-round. We seek up to six interns (unpaid, but available for academic credit) to provide support to NACHC departments within the Public Policy and Research Division (PPR) in its Washington, D.C. office. This Division serves as the national voice for community-based health centers to promote the mission and accomplishments of health centers. Furthermore, the PPR division works to secure ongoing support and resources to protect and strengthen health center services so that communities in need across the nation and U.S. territories have access to high quality, comprehensive care.

NACHC is seeking motivated and passionate individuals who are interested in improving health for medically underserved communities and the interconnections of health centers and an evolving U.S. health care system. Internship activities may consist of general research and analysis on health centers, researching and aiding in document development, data collection, analyzing legislative and regulatory policy, and managing contact databases. Interns will also have the opportunity to visit local health centers and/or attend relevant briefings and industry meetings.

The ideal candidate:

  • Has excellent writing, analysis, and communication skills
  • Has the ability to perform independently in a fast-paced environment
  • Has previous knowledge and experience working with Microsoft Office
  • Must be motivated and interested in improving health for medically underserved communities
  • Must currently be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate studies; or be a recent graduate (undergraduate to PhD)

Being a NACHC intern offers you the opportunity to:

  • Expand your knowledge of health policy and community health centers
  • Build and strengthen your professional workplace skills including computer and technical literacy, communication, organizational writing, public speaking, and multitasking
  • Explore career opportunities that offer an inside look into your potential career path
  • Meet a variety of people in the health policy world and expand your professional network
  • Bring your own talents and creativity to the table
  • Work collaboratively with fellow interns and other departments at PPR division
  • Visit health centers in the D.C., Virginia, and Maryland area

Departmental Descriptions – Interns will be placed with and will work on projects established by one the following departments within NACHC’s PPR Division:

State Affairs: Works with State/Regional Primary Care Associations (trade associations that represent community health centers on the state or regional-level) to educate the public, health officials and decision-makers at the local and state level regarding the crucial role that America’s Health Centers provide as a sustainable source of primary care, removing barriers to care which is critical to improving health outcomes and containing costs. The State Affairs Department achieves this goal via two main pathways:

  • Providing technical assistance (i.e. webinars, podcasts, blogs, issue briefs, conference educational sessions, and infographics)
  • Convening meetings for stakeholders to discuss challenges and how to overcome them (i.e. workgroup sessions and monthly calls)
  • Issues include: Medicaid expansion, adequate payment for community health center services, state funding for health centers, integration of behavioral health services, the 340B Drug Discount Program, and many more.  Check out our website here.   
Past Projects
Potential Projects
(Not limited to this list, subject to change depending on semester)
1332 Waivers and Health Centers, Emerging Issues #12

Currentcare: Rhode Island’s Health Information Exchange, blog post

Update on Medicaid Expansion via 1115 Waivers, State Policy Report #19

Assist with state-based policy analysis; monitor legislative and administrative actions affecting health centers; and research/develop issues briefs and other publications

Federal Affairs: Serves as the voice of health centers, their patients, staff, and communities in the public policy development process in Congress. The Federal Affairs Department communicates with federal legislators on priority issues, facilitate advocacy, and build coalitions with other stakeholders to achieve health centers’ mission and preserve the unique model of care. Issues include: Appropriations (health center funding- mandatory and discretionary), Medicaid and CHIP, Medicare, Health Center Workforce, 340B Drug Pricing Program, Behavioral Health, Telehealth, Veterans’ health, and many more. 

Past Projects
Potential Projects
(Not limited to this list, subject to change depending on semester)
Part I, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4– Blog Series on King vs. Burwell

Spreadsheets of current legislation impacting health centers

Prepare updates on key briefings and hearing notices; assist with congressional contact management; monitor and analyze legislation (e.g., write memos, track legislation); and provide support with developing resources (e.g., one pagers, infographics) for various health center issues

Policy ResearchCollects data, performs analysis, and applies information to empower communities in their efforts to improve public health. The Research Department also helps educate the public, health officials, and decision-makers at the local, state, and national level about the critical role of health centers in promoting access to high quality, affordable health care that reduces disparities and advances community well-being.

Past Projects
Potential Projects
(Not limited to this list, subject to change depending on semester)
National Health Center Week Infographics: Providing Quality Care, Producing Results, National Economic and Community Impact of Federal Health Center Funding

Annotated Bibliographies for Health Center Research

A Sketch of Community Health Centers

Assist with research, analysis and materials development on health centers, Medicaid, access to care issues, and health disparities; write and update research fact sheets and charts; develop relevant infographics

Seeking graduate-level candidates. Experience in statistics and/or statistical software is recommended.

Regulatory Affairs: Monitors the health care regulatory environment to identify emerging and new federal regulatory issues and policies that can impact health centers and their patients. In this area, it:

  • Reviews and comments on Federal policies (proposed regulations, guidances, etc.) from agencies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • Educates state Primary Care Associations and health centers about emerging Federal policy issues
  • Supports state Primary Care Associations and health centers in submitting their own comments on Federal policies.
Past Projects
Potential Projects
(Not limited to this list, subject to change depending on semester)
Resources for Recruiting Dental Providers, Word document on Reg.’s main page Monitor, research, and analyze Medicare, Medicaid, and ACA implementation policies, along with its impact on health centers; prepare resources and responses to support technical assistance to health centers.

Grassroots Advocacy:  Works with health centers and state primary care associations to communicate and message national policy updates pertaining to health centers and drive over 100,000 advocates to take action on many of these items. The Advocacy Department provides various resources and trainings aimed at preparing health centers and other advocates to build relationships with their elected officials, communicate important items to those elected officials, and organize and mobilize their communities to do the same. To do so the advocacy team has implemented various programs and initiatives aimed at developing advocacy leaders across the country, institutionalizing advocacy at health centers, engaging advocates through culturally and linguistically competent tools and resources, and using social media and digital communications to communicate with and organize advocates.

Past Projects
Potential Projects
(Not limited to this list, subject to change depending on semester)
Advocacy best practice collection through interviews with health center staff

Creation of a podcast interviewing an advocate

Manual for adult learning principles

Create resources for health center advocacy including infographics, fliers, webpages, and videos; analyze engagement statistics in a large database of advocate profiles; support planning associated with National Health Center Week; support planning and organization of advocacy materials for NACHC’s annual Policy & Issues Forum; conduct outreach directly to advocates working at health centers and state associations

Final Presentations- At the end of the internship, interns prepare a final presentation for the PPR Division. The intern will critically evaluate a topic of their choice and connect it to health centers and/or NACHC.

 Former Interns’ Final Presentations
(posted with their approval)
Genny Olson, Federal and Regulatory Affairs, Summer 2015
Tracy Sexton, Policy Research, Summer 2015
 Whitney Wong, State Affairs, Fall 2014

Academic credit- Upon request, interns are able to receive academic credit for their time at NACHC. Interns are responsible for communicating with their school and NACHC to ensure all responsibilities and expectations are fulfilled.

NACHC Intern Alumni- NACHC has had the pleasure to work with current students/graduates from:

  • American University
  • University of North Carolina, Gillings School of Global Public Health
  • St. Louis University, College for Public Health and Social Justice
  • George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Michigan, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
  • Northwestern University
  • Tulane University
  • Howard University
  • University of Washington, Seattle
  • And many more!

Housing- Moving to DC from another state and need to find housing? Check out these resources.
(Information provided as a courtesy and not as an endorsement.)

PPR Division Location- The internship will take place at the office listed below.

1400 “Eye” St NW Suite 910
Washington, D.C. 20005
Metro Rail stop: Orange/Blue/Silver line, McPherson Square 

How to Apply and Get Involved- Submit a resume, cover letter, and a brief writing sample (no more than 2 pages) to this online application by the deadline. All materials must be uploaded or the application will not be considered.

For any questions, please contact Luke Ertle, Internship Coordinator, at lertle@nachc.org.