The major task that I am completing as an intern with CBHI is a directory so that we as the CANS training providers can have direct communication with those supervisors who are in charge of CANS training within their prospective organizations. In order to make this directory I drafted a letter which was sent to CANS news email list serve. I then created an excel spreadsheet to document the contact information that I receive. I have been very satisfied with the number of responses and the willingness to become a part of this directory. So far, I have entered about 150 people into the directory. My next steps will be to filter through the data and contact some of the people again to make sure that we are receiving complete information and the contact information of the right individual within each organization. I am most proud of my accomplishments on this task because this is one project that is completely my own.
Academically, this internship has helped me progress towards completing the HSSP major. My time at CBHI has also given me a glimpse into what it is like to work in the health care field. Thanks to this opportunity, I now have a better idea of which aspects of a work environment I am looking for in a future career. This internship has been very useful in connecting me with other working professionals and fellow students who share similar passions related to social work and law.
I have met with employees from the Office of the Child Advocate who are also interested in both law and social work.
I regularly check in with my supervisor and members from the department to discuss tasks that I am assigned to and work that CBHI is doing. When I first began this internship I did not understand a lot of the information that was discussed at staff or interdepartmental meetings. I am aware of my growth because now that I have spent about 5 weeks with this organization, I understand and contribute to discussions. I also have a much greater understanding of the MassHealth program and services, which is the umbrella organization that CBHI is a part of.
This internship has taught me about government organizations and how agencies within the government are run on the business and customer service end. In school you learn about the three branches of government and how there are agencies within them that work to provide the needs of the state. However, now that I have experienced working in the government firsthand, I have a much better understanding of how different agencies and organizations work together to complete projects. While I do not plan on working for the government in the future (I actually want to work as a lawyer with children), it is helpful as both a citizen and a professional in the workforce to have an understanding of how your state is run.
This chart shows how CBHI fits into the organization of state government.
In terms of academics, I am an HSSP major and this internship involves MassHealth services, mental and behavioral health issues, and matters of general public concern. By having this internship I will have a better understanding of how what I am learning in class applies to real world issues and potential jobs in the future. The specific duties of my internship require me to contact many clinicians and psychologists who work with children seeking mental and behavioral health assistance. While I am not the one specifically working to help improve the health of these children, I am learning how to professionally communicate with and reach out to others. One major lesson I have learned through this internship is that in order for social and health care services (as well as any other service/good) to be possible, a lot of behind the scenes work and business/bureaucratic applications such as contracts and development meetings must be involved. Prior to my internship, I did not expect public health work to require so much business work as well. This realization has taught me that no matter the specific industry one goes into there are always business applications involved. Hopefully I will be able to apply those business aspects that I have learned in this internship to my future career as a child advocate.
-Elizabeth Chalfin ’15