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The internship is the second phase of Garcia's participation in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health RUSCH program (Rural and Urban Scholars in Community Health). Garcia is currently in Madison testing bacteria levels on the lakes and also for private citizens and companies. He is working with the Madison Department of Public Health on this project.
The Community Health Internship Program (CHIP) is part of the Wisconsin AHEC, administered through the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. The CHIP program links university student interns with local health departments, and community health centers and agencies throughout the state to implement public health projects.
"This program is designed to teach students about health issues facing under-served populations in Wisconsin," said Nancy Sugden, director of the Wisconsin AHEC. "On-site mentors provide technical support and assistance and facilitate shadowing opportunities to help interns gain an appreciation of the broad range of public health activities undertaken at the local level."
This year, the statewide CHIP placed 59 interns in locations across Wisconsin, and the Milwaukee CHIP placed 24 students in southeastern Wisconsin. The Wisconsin AHEC consists of seven regional centers located in Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Beloit, Cashton, Wausau, Superior and Marinette. The program office is located in the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
AHEC is a health-professions education and outreach program supported by federal grants, the state of Wisconsin, the state's health professions training programs and local communities. It is part of a nationwide network of programs for improving accessibility and quality of primary health care.
The national program was designed to encourage universities and educators to look beyond their institutions to form partnerships that meet community health needs. The goal is to decentralize health-professions training and link communities with academic health centers that promote cooperative solutions to local health problems.