Posted: June 6, 2013
Upstream Public Health is a small, ten-year-old non-profit organization based in Portland. We work on health policies that affect all of Oregon.
At Upstream we believe that smart policies are the best way to create communities that help people lead healthier, fuller lives. We seek out the most innovative broad-based public health solutions that are backed by science and research, move them into the mainstream dialogue, and build momentum for change. Our goal is to address the most pressing health issues and improve people's well being, one policy at a time.
Upstream acts as a catalyst to drive healthy changes, making Oregon a better place to live, work, and play. All Oregonians – whether urban or rural – should have access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity. We envision an Oregon where people are living happy, healthy, active lives and reaching their full potential.
Upstream Public Health works closely with students and recent graduates in order to extend our own reach and to expose people to career options in public health advocacy. For the summer of 2013, Upstream is recruiting for up to 5 unpaid, part time internships. We are not currently recruiting for any full-time positions, but a qualified applicant could propose to do more than one of the listed projects.
For all positions below, prospective interns should be self-motivated, quick learners, and able to work independently in a noisy office environment. Each of these positions can be 10-20 hours per week, and could potentially continue into the fall for local students.
Interns will be expected to work in the Upstream Public Health office in Portland at least one day per week. We share a suite with 5 other health and equity organizations. Interns may also do part of their work remotely, if appropriate to the position.
To apply, please send a resume and a cover letter explaining your interest and qualifications to firstname.lastname@example.org. Indicate in the subject line of your message which position interests you. To apply for multiple positions, please submit separate applications explaining your qualifications for each. Please include in your cover letter, or as a separate attachement (ie: not in the body of the email) your schedule constraints, preferences, and availability: How many hours would you like to work per week, over what period of time, and do you have firm schedule constraints to work around? Finally, if you will be pursuing academic credit for your internship, please include information about the internship requirements, if any.
Positions will be removed when they are filled.
Development: Help Upstream Continue to Thrive
Upstream is an independent 501(c)3 organization, funded through foundation grants, contracts, corporate and organizational sponsorships, individual donations, and special events. “Development” = Fundraising.
Upstream is recruiting a development intern to help with all aspects of our development work. The intern would assist with data entry and maintenance of donor records within our fundraising database, help coordinate fundraising events, seek out corporate sponsorship and grant opportunities, and (if desired) assist in writing some grant proposals
Applicants should have some experience with nonprofit fundraising through classes or prior work experience, and should be excited to learn more about this critical function in advocacy organizations. Applicant will work under the direction of Upstream’s Development Director who has over 20 years of fundraising experience.
Sugary Drinks: Research Education Efforts around Sugary Drinks
Sugary drinks are a major factor contributing to the twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes. Upstream Public Health has been working for several years to try to mitigate the health impacts of excessive sugary drink consumption: we helped get sugary drinks out of schools, we have been trying to implement health standards for vending machines in public buildings, and we have been strategizing about a possible soda tax on sugary drinks at the local level.
Based on our research so far, it looks like we need to do more education before a local tax on sugary drinks could succeed. So our next task is to determine what kind of education actually works to change people’s thoughts and behavior. Upstream is recruiting a Sugary Drinks intern to research and summarize the best information available about what works in public health education campaigns.
Health Equity: Advancing Equity through the HOPE Coalition
Even within close geographic range, people of different races and ethnicities have very different health outcomes. Working to ensure that health is distributed equitably is a top priority for Upstream.
The Health Equity internship position is an opportunity to help Upstream design and implement a strategy to ensure we are intentionally addressing race-based inequities in our work.
A health equity intern will have the opportunity to contribute to Upstream’s Equity Working Group, help implement the organization's Health Equity Work Plan, and participate in Upstream’s collaboration with the Healthy Oregon Partnerships for Equity (HOPE) Coalition, which is working to implement a 5-year health equity plan in a four-county region.
Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in equity issues and some experience working with communities of color.
Health Impact Assessments: Legislation Review, Outreach Materials
Environmental Impact Assessments have been used for many years to systematically analyze the impacts of proposed projects. Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) are a newer, similar tool that evaluate impacts of a proposal on human health. Upstream has coordinated or contributed to HIAs on topics ranging from investing in Farm to School, to taking junk food out of schools to transportation policy.
Upstream is recruiting a research-oriented student to help with two projects related to Health Impact Assessments:
Review the bills introduced in the 2013 Oregon legislature and begin profiling policies to screen for HIA applicability. The idea is to see what policy ideas are coming down the pike that create opportunities for conducting HIAs.
Review Oregon media on HIAs and conduct a framing analysis to see how existing HIA activities have been discussed in the past four years.
Applicants should have taken at least one graduate-level class in research methods and be familiar with Health Impact Assessments. To complete the second project, applicants need to have taken a media advocacy class or have some other demonstrated academic or work experience to understand public health framing. It is possible to separate these two projects, if a student is only qualified and interested in one.
Healthy Schools: Best Practices to Think Broadly About Health in District Wellness Policies
Healthy kids learn better, and educated adults live healthier lives, so ensuring good health for Oregon’s K-12 students is critical.
Oregon school districts are all required to adopt wellness policies (and update them periodically). Further, wellness policies must include language related to nutrition and physical activity. In a previous review, Upstream learned that most districts adopt model templates available from the Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA) or Oregon Nutrition Policy Alliance (OSNA).
This project involves working with Upstream staff and other partners to develop an updated model template “menu of options” to incorporate health in areas beyond nutrition and physical activity. Topics may include: pesticide use on school grounds, availability of drinking water, school siting decisions, etc.
Ideal applicants have some experience working with schools (e.g. as a volunteer, a previous job or internship) and at least one public health class reviewing the social determinants of health.