May 1, 2020
7
20
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Congrats all!

I received my email this morning and I got placed in Robertsdale, AL for Covid-19 work. I currently live in Atlanta and my Mom lives in Alabama (3 hrs from the worksite) so I am not mad at it! Anyone from area this area who can give me tips.
 
May 7, 2020
12
40
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Matched to Chicago, IL to work on COVID-19 this morning! Anyone know what kind of work this will involve?
If it's anything like the stuff I'm doing now in Florida, you might be contact tracing and doing epidemiology stuff. I'm not sure what else this could entail. Maybe policy-level stuff? But from what I'm hearing at the DOH that I'm at, contact tracers and case investigators are in high demand. I just call positive cases all day and find out where they think they were infected and who they were around that they could have possibly exposed. We deal with a lot of nursing homes in my county and try and stop outbreaks at workplaces since Florida decided to open up before we are actually ready to.
 
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Jun 20, 2020
1
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I had already accepted my match but I sent an email saying that I won’t be able to do the location due to personal reasons I found out about after I accepted it! I got an email saying I would be considered for a different location! Don’t be afraid to ask them even after you accepted guys!
Hi, another longtime lurker. After emailing them about your reasons to be rematched, did you decline your offer or did you leave it blank? I am in a similar position now and am looking to find the best way to go about asking to be rematched.
 
May 1, 2019
51
52
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I had already accepted my match but I sent an email saying that I won’t be able to do the location due to personal reasons I found out about after I accepted it! I got an email saying I would be considered for a different location! Don’t be afraid to ask them even after you accepted guys!
Please, if you don't mind, how were you able to format your email, asking so in case I have to reach out to them. I want to be as respectful as possible so they don't think that I am not interested. And please do you mind sharing the email you used? Was it [email protected] that you've used?

Thank you!
 
Last edited:
May 1, 2019
51
52
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I got matched to work on COVID19 which I'm excited about but in Tahlequah, OK and that was NOT in my top 5. :(
 
Jun 9, 2020
2
2
Status
Non-Student
Sure! Heads up that this is going to be a super long post! Every experience is very different and completely dependent on your host site and what they applied to have you do while you're there. However, there is an overarching set of public health related benchmarks you're supposed to meet during your 2 years for everyone in the program to try to make sure even if the experience isn't the same across the board, hopefully everyone leaves with at least a base knowledge of certain topics. These topics range from the basics of public health sciences, to understanding funding of public health programs, to cultural competency, and all kinds of other things.

In between when you get your offer and when you start your position is just as crazy as the application process. You'll go through fingerprinting at an approved facility near you, several rounds of paperwork for security clearances so you can get your CDC ID (you usually get your ID when you come to Atlanta for your first training so I don't know how that's going to work this year), and a set of online webinar courses that are optional, but highly recommended, that should help you learn to navigate the program and set your expectations for what the next 2 years will look like.

During that time, you'll also be scrambling to find housing in your new location that you can afford. People in more rural areas might have a harder time finding rentals, but have cheaper rent. I live in a rural area and called 20+ rental companies, only had one return my calls, and didn't get to see pictures of where I would be living until the day before I took a week long road trip to get there. In a big city, there's more places to choose from, but many will likely be outside your budget unless you have a significant other who will be living with you and making decent money or you find a roommate.

It also was much harder than I expected organizing packing up your whole life and going through the moving process. I had moved 5+ times in the last 4 years so I figured it wouldn't be that much different, but I was incredibly wrong. All of those moves had been local, and this move was from Florida to Oregon. Due to a lot of factors, I couldn't find a single moving option that would work other than driving my personal car and only taking what fit in it, which isn't much. So after months of denial I donated every piece of furniture I owned to other college kids, left about half my clothes in a closet at my parents' house, and got really good at packing space bags (the ones that you suck all the air out of with a vacuum to minimize the amount of space they take up). My dad took 2 weeks off work and we spent a week taking a Great American Road Trip to get out to Oregon, staying the night with a lot of family along the way, and a week setting up my new apartment and orienting me to my new town.

I chose to move a month before the program started because I'm someone who needs time to adjust to my new space before I'm able to thrive in a new environment. I knew that being thousands of miles from everyone and everything I knew was going to be an adjustment I wouldn't be able to make in a week or 2. So I had my dad there the first week to help me assemble furniture, hang pictures, and explore some of the other towns around here. I spent a lot of time traveling that month since we don't have many big stores in my town. I also took the time to go to local museums, check out the Arts Center and the farmer's market, and generally go out to places where I could try to make friends. Other people moved up to the week before the program started. When people moved seemed to mostly depend on if they were leaving another job behind to come to this one, if they had a significant other or a family moving with them, and how far they were moving.

A quick blurb about my host site since your host site affects everything about your experience. I am assigned to a Tribal health clinic in eastern Oregon. As I said before, it's a very rural area, so our clinic offers a really wide range of services that a lot of other clinics might not since it can be a very long drive to other places that offer specialty care. I work under the umbrella of a Community Health and Wellness program and was originally assigned mainly to Community Health Assessment (CHA) and Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) related work. That has changed a lot due to the pandemic and a major flood, but we'll get to that in a minute. From the descriptions you gave above, I would say my work has been more along the lines of a sink or swim position out of those options, but that's a sort of work style I'm familiar with and tend to excel in so I haven't really minded.

The first week of the program was a whirlwind. My host site was in the middle of a huge month long Harry Potter themed event to celebrate Halloween, so on my first day when the IT department couldn't get my computer log on to work they sent me to a Harry Potter trivia game as a way to meet other people who work in the clinic. I love Harry Potter and it worked fabulously because I won the game by a landslide and then spent the month being referred to as "that Harry Potter girl" instead of "the new girl" when people didn't know my name :1LOL:. I am so grateful that the events they held that month fostered the sort of environment that made it easy to meet people and get to know them in a casual way since I'm not always great at getting to know new people. The rest of my first week was spent meeting people and doing trainings. I got to tour my host site, go through their new hire training program, and took a lot of CDC's trainings for our first month of the program. It will probably take a while for your host site to get everything set up for you. People in my cohort had problems with their host site log ins, getting general office equipment ordered and/or set up, etc. and it's to be expected, especially if you are the first associate they've been assigned. Your goals for your first week should be less about the work you'll be doing and more about adjusting to your new workplace and learning the culture there. Recognizing who other people go to when they're having problems, learning names, and things like that are going to be invaluable later in your program.

Three months into my program was January 2020. By that point I was deeply involved in a lot of work at my host site. We were full steam ahead planning for the Community Health Assessment I was there to help run. I had started writing our first draft with input here and there from my host site supervisor. I was working with our Behavioral Health team to run our Warming Station for people experiencing homelessness on the Reservation. We were about to have our Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) site visit so we had a mock site visit to prepare for that. The whole Community Health and Wellness department was working on a variety of health promotion programs. Three months in I felt very well oriented to the community and the work both my department and the clinic as a whole was doing. I finally had people remembering I was there and coming to me for help on projects I had expressed an interest in and things like that, which felt awesome after months of working very hard to earn the respect of my new colleagues. I also by that point had been watching what would later be named COVID-19 very carefully and even though it hadn't yet fallen on most of my co-workers radars being aware of that would become important later on.

Instead of jumping all the way to today, I'm going to give a bit more of a timeline overview of what happened between February and now. In February, we had our PHAB site visit, which went really well! Then, a week later, we had a major flood for the first time in roughly 50+ years. Since everyone from our partner entities who would have been needed for input on the CHA was working flood response, I got assigned to flood response. Early on in the program I had expressed interest in emergency management related activities and mentioned my experience working in volunteer disaster response, so my host site supervisor really let me run with this one. I did everything from helping set up our Warming Station as an evacuation shelter on the night of the flood, to helping run our flood resource center for the public, to organizing flood clean up kits to distribute. Those flood clean up kits included N95 masks so people wouldn't inhale mold spores while tearing out drywall and cabinets and flooring that had been damaged by flood water. The excess N95 masks would also become a convenient stockpile of PPE for COVID-19 when they became impossible to order. So the flood response lasted roughly 3 weeks and then I took most of the last week of February off since I had been working crazy hours and 3 weekends in a row.

I came back from that time off to the first case of COVID-19 in my county being announced on Monday, March 2 and immediately transitioned to full time COVID-19 work. At the time, I was the only staff member at my host site who had taken the WHO COVID-19 trainings since I did those for fun/out of interest way before they became relevant on a local scale. Since March, I've participated in our incident command meetings, been part of our PPE supply monitoring team, helped with a COVID-19 surveillance study, crated educational materials, sent out links with updated guidance from CDC and the Oregon Health Authority on a regular basis, and all kinds of other tasks. It's been stressful, but exactly the type of work I've always wanted to do. Now that things are calming down and other Tribal entities are returning to work slowly I'm working on finding a balance between doing COVID-19 related work and trying to get our CHA back on track after taking a 4 month hiatus from it.

Every person's experience will be different, but there's generally some leeway for you to create the experience you're looking for like I did with getting to work in emergency response. If you get assigned to a program area or a project that you aren't excited about I wouldn't let that discourage you from accepting the position. Put in the work on that project and then talk with both your host site supervisor and your CDC supervisor about how you can create opportunities for what your really want to do in addition to your main project assignments. Maybe that looks like getting permission to block out a few hours a week to take trainings you're interested in or to shadow something another department is working on at your host site. The best part of this program being designed to be a training program for people new to the world of working in public health is that there's flexibility to make sure the host site work gets done while still having the ability to learn about or experience other things you have an interest in and that may help you meet those program benchmarks I talked about earlier.

This was incredibly long and I feel like maybe I'm rambling a bit, but feel free to message me or respond to this with questions and I'll do my best to answer them :)

Thank you for sharing your experience! I have been accepted just yesterday to Kyle, South Dakota which is located in the center of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Could you share some wisdom on housing for tribal work?

Again thank you so much :)
 
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Jun 9, 2020
2
2
Status
Non-Student
Last year we did a 4 day long training in ATL. We were gone from our host sites for 5 days (the first day is used for travel) but actually trained for 4 days. I'm not sure if it will be the same for you all this year due to COVID, but as you near your starting date you will receive more information.
Just to clarify, did you start at your host organization before your ATL training then?
 
Jun 11, 2019
10
42
Thank you for sharing your experience! I have been accepted just yesterday to Kyle, South Dakota which is located in the center of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Could you share some wisdom on housing for tribal work?

Again thank you so much :)
The Reservation whose health center I was assigned to sits just outside the city limits for a small town. Housing is incredibly scarce out here and a lot of what was available was medium sized homes way out of my price range. I spent a long time trying to secure housing in town and ended up getting a studio apartment, but I almost had to get housing in a bigger city over an hour away that has a college and more plentiful and affordable housing because of that. My best advice would be to start searching for housing early and to contact anywhere you would be willing to commute from that has rentals. If affordable housing is an issue there, you'll likely end up getting put on wait lists and you should add yourself to multiple lists to increase your chance of getting a place. I also ran into the problem where some rental agencies wouldn't answer my phone calls or return my messages because I didn't have a local area code so be prepared for that possibility too.
 
Jan 30, 2020
3
11
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello Everyone,

For those who are still waiting for the selection email (including me lol), I called the PHAP office yesterday and they informed me that they are still working on the selection process and will take 4-6 weeks.
Let’s hang in there!
 
Apr 30, 2020
18
31
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Hello Everyone,

For those who are still waiting for the selection email (including me lol), I called the PHAP office yesterday and they informed me that they are still working on the selection process and will take 4-6 weeks.
Let’s hang in there!
Wow the wait is killing me.
 
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May 11, 2020
17
51
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hello Everyone,

For those who are still waiting for the selection email (including me lol), I called the PHAP office yesterday and they informed me that they are still working on the selection process and will take 4-6 weeks.
Let’s hang in there!
I sent an email out Thursday and got the same response Friday. The wait has me so anxious.
 
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Jun 17, 2020
5
8
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Okay, thank you! This might sound weird and random but does the year 2020 appear twice near your name? Mine changed to that, I’m not sure if it means anything.
The year 2020 appeared twice under my name as well, I got matched about 9 days later and then it returned to only one 2020. Maybe it does mean something? But I am not sure.
 
Jun 11, 2020
1
1
Status
Non-Student
I’m gonna be in Boulder, CO for Injury Prevention! (I finally made an account on here but I got the email a few weeks ago).
If anyone is in the Boulder/Denver area lmk!
 
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Jun 12, 2020
4
5
Status
Pre-health Advisor
Does anyone know when the security screening is going to take place? Past forums say August but I feel like that would be kinda far away?
 
Jun 12, 2020
4
5
Status
Pre-health Advisor
Please, if you don't mind, how were you able to format your email, asking so in case I have to reach out to them. I want to be as respectful as possible so they don't think that I am not interested. And please do you mind sharing the email you used? Was it [email protected] that you've used?

Thank you!
yes I used that exact email! I think what I said was along the lines of “I am unable to work at that location due to personal reasons, will a relocation be a potential offer”
 
Jun 11, 2020
4
8
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Does anyone know if the original placement e-mail was an actual offer? I know some people received official calls today and I did not and I am getting a little anxious....
 
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Jul 13, 2018
5
5
2018 PHAP here! (IL)

Congratulations everyone! Don't lose hope if you haven't heard anything, there's definitely still time. Wishing you all the best of luck with your placements. It goes by fast :)

As someone who's almost done with the program, feel free to message me if you have any questions. Very excited for you all!
 
Jun 12, 2020
2
2
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
2018 PHAP here! (IL)

Congratulations everyone! Don't lose hope if you haven't heard anything, there's definitely still time. Wishing you all the best of luck with your placements. It goes by fast :)

As someone who's almost done with the program, feel free to message me if you have any questions. Very excited for you all!
Hi! I had a quick question about the timeline. I wanted to know if people from your year are planning on attending grad schools this fall, or if you wrap up in october and then wait for the following cycle?

Thanks!
 
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Jun 24, 2020
1
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hi everyone! I got matched to work on chronic diseases with Indigenous Peoples in Albuquerque, NM. If anyone has any past experiences or advice/tips about living in New Mexico or the southwest, please let me know!
 
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Jun 26, 2020
8
9
Status
Non-Student
Hi all! New to this thread. Congratulations to those individuals who have received and/or accepted an offer. I was wondering if you all specified a geographical area and/or topic interests? Or if some of you chosen already were also individuals who did not have a preference on area and/or topic? I hope this question makes sense!
 
May 7, 2020
12
40
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Hi all! New to this thread. Congratulations to those individuals who have received and/or accepted an offer. I was wondering if you all specified a geographical area and/or topic interests? Or if some of you chosen already were also individuals who did not have a preference on area and/or topic? I hope this question makes sense!
I picked my top 5 locations but I also picked like 7 other areas that I would be willing to go to. I also picked the top interest areas but then selected almost all of the other interest areas since I don't really have a particular focus as of yet. I ended up being placed at my #2 location but in an area of interest that wasn't in my top selection. I hope this answered your question!

Best of luck to you!
 
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Jun 11, 2020
2
7
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I’m gonna be in Boulder, CO for Injury Prevention! (I finally made an account on here but I got the email a few weeks ago).
If anyone is in the Boulder/Denver area lmk!
Hi, I live in Denver if you need some information I can help a little.
 
Jun 26, 2020
8
9
Status
Non-Student
I picked my top 5 locations but I also picked like 7 other areas that I would be willing to go to. I also picked the top interest areas but then selected almost all of the other interest areas since I don't really have a particular focus as of yet. I ended up being placed at my #2 location but in an area of interest that wasn't in my top selection. I hope this answered your question!

Best of luck to you!
It does answer my question, thank you so much!

Best of luck with your new placement!
 
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Jun 26, 2020
8
9
Status
Non-Student
I will be in Boise, ID doing COVID-19 work. I have never been, but looking forward to this new journey.

Are any of you worried that due to COVID-19 we wont be able to move forward with this? I was offered a job in March, but because of COVID-19 I was never able to start it. I am leaning more towards a "no", as in we should be able to move forward with it but wanted to see what you all thought about it.

Good luck to those of you still waiting to hear back.
 

ronathan

7+ Year Member
Oct 25, 2010
72
62
Status
Non-Student
I will be in Boise, ID doing COVID-19 work. I have never been, but looking forward to this new journey.

Are any of you worried that due to COVID-19 we wont be able to move forward with this? I was offered a job in March, but because of COVID-19 I was never able to start it. I am leaning more towards a "no", as in we should be able to move forward with it but wanted to see what you all thought about it.

Good luck to those of you still waiting to hear back.
This is a good question. I don't think anything official has been written yet about this by CDC. But off the top of my head, I would think that all of you accepting positions with PHAP are going to want to factor in having 14 days of self-isolation into your moving plans before you start work at your new host site. Also note that some states, like NY, NJ, and CT, are making it mandatory for travelers from certain other states to do this, and other states may eventually follow suit. You should pay attention, in the coming months, on what the state government of your host site is saying about travel.
 
Jun 26, 2020
8
9
Status
Non-Student
I’m gonna be in Boulder, CO for Injury Prevention! (I finally made an account on here but I got the email a few weeks ago).
If anyone is in the Boulder/Denver area lmk!
I live in Commerce City, near Denver. I also have friends that are familiar with Boulder. Let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of any help!
 
Jun 26, 2020
8
9
Status
Non-Student
This is a good question. I don't think anything official has been written yet about this by CDC. But off the top of my head, I would think that all of you accepting positions with PHAP are going to want to factor in having 14 days of self-isolation into your moving plans before you start work at your new host site. Also note that some states, like NY, NJ, and CT, are making it mandatory for travelers from certain other states to do this, and other states may eventually follow suit. You should pay attention, in the coming months, on what the state government of your host site is saying about travel.
This is very true, excellent point! Definitely planning on doing this which changes the timeline a little bit. I will continue to monitor, thanks for the response!
 
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May 8, 2020
6
23
I was just matched in mentor,Oh to work on Health Department Improvement/Accreditation! I’ve never been to Ohio before, but I am super excited about my assignment!

Is anyone familiar with this area? I would love to ask some questions.
I lived in Ohio from 2016 until the spring of this year. I went to college not too far from Mentor, OH. I can try to answer some questions you may have! Congratulations!
 
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Jun 11, 2020
5
28
Status
Other Health Professions Student
I will be in Boise, ID doing COVID-19 work. I have never been, but looking forward to this new journey.

Are any of you worried that due to COVID-19 we wont be able to move forward with this? I was offered a job in March, but because of COVID-19 I was never able to start it. I am leaning more towards a "no", as in we should be able to move forward with it but wanted to see what you all thought about it.

Good luck to those of you still waiting to hear back.
I actually asked PHAP a week or 2 about that. I was a bit concerned myself since new things happen everyday with the pandemic. They told me they do not plan on canceling the program. They said the worst case scenario is we start working virtually in October until it is safe to go in person to our host sites. I think it would be crazy for them to go through this 10 month process just to cancel it all together. I hope this helps!
 
Jun 26, 2020
8
9
Status
Non-Student
I actually asked PHAP a week or 2 about that. I was a bit concerned myself since new things happen everyday with the pandemic. They told me they do not plan on canceling the program. They said the worst case scenario is we start working virtually in October until it is safe to go in person to our host sites. I think it would be crazy for them to go through this 10 month process just to cancel it all together. I hope this helps!
It is a valid concern, but this makes me feel a little less anxious. I thought the same, it felt like a lot was being invested to just cancel. Working remote wouldn't be a terrible idea in a worst case scenario.

Thank you :D
 
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Jun 11, 2020
5
28
Status
Other Health Professions Student
It is a valid concern, but this makes me feel a little less anxious. I thought the same, it felt like a lot was being invested to just cancel. Working remote wouldn't be a terrible idea in a worst case scenario.

Thank you :D
No worries! I just wish they told us sooner rather than later. I would hate to sign a lease and the program be virtually for months. Me personally, I want to move to my host site area a month before I start to adjust. and get acquainted to my "new life". Hopefully we hear back soon about the location of our site and whether we will be remote or not.
 
Jun 26, 2020
8
9
Status
Non-Student
No worries! I just wish they told us sooner rather than later. I would hate to sign a lease and the program be virtually for months. Me personally, I want to move to my host site area a month before I start to adjust. and get acquainted to my "new life". Hopefully we hear back soon about the location of our site and whether we will be remote or not.
I agree because I feel the same. I want to move 2-4 weeks before I start but fear being left with a lease that I will not need till months later. I am hopeful that we hear soon so that we can figure out our big move (or not so big if we start remote).
 
May 8, 2020
9
19
27
I agree because I feel the same. I want to move 2-4 weeks before I start but fear being left with a lease that I will not need till months later. I am hopeful that we hear soon so that we can figure out our big move (or not so big if we start remote).
I think it is still a good idea to do so . I’m not sure how the host sites work, as far as working remotely, but some employers make it madatory that you live in the state that you are working in to work remotely . So, you could be working remotely and required to live in the the state or within driving distance of your host site.
 
Jun 26, 2020
8
9
Status
Non-Student
I think it is still a good idea to do so . I’m not sure how the host sites work, as far as working remotely, but some employers make it madatory that you live in the state that you are working in to work remotely . So, you could be working remotely and required to live in the the state or within driving distance of your host site.
Oh wow, I had no idea. Thank you for the heads up, makes planning around it more straight forward.
 
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Jun 11, 2020
3
6
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Does anyone know when we’ll receive our official offer letters from HR? I know when I talked to my HR rep she said 3-5 Business days after they called, but I still haven’t gotten anything in my email.
 
May 7, 2020
12
40
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Does anyone know when we’ll receive our official offer letters from HR? I know when I talked to my HR rep she said 3-5 Business days after they called, but I still haven’t gotten anything in my email.
I got my initial email telling me I was matched on 6/11. It said we would get the official letter in 2-4 weeks, 4 weeks from the initial email is 7/9 so according to thaaat email they still have some time lol.
 
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Jun 11, 2019
10
42
I got assigned to Madison, WI doing viral hepatitis prevention. If anyone is familiar with Madison I would greatly appreciate any feedback as I will be moving from Atlanta with my daughter.
Hi! My family on both sides are from Madison and we go back frequently to visit. It's a fantastic city to live in, plenty to do within a short drive, but small enough that traffic usually isn't an issue outside of rush hour. I'd love to help answer any questions you might have :)
 
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