Health Policy & Planning Internships

photo of bike and pedestrian signThe Health Policy & Planning (HPP) Internship Program is designed to provide work opportunities and practical learning experiences in public health, policy, planning and public administration. Interns will work with the Health Policy & Planning (HPP) Division of the San Mateo County Health System. HPP works to promote health equity and improve the health and well-being for all who live and work in San Mateo County.

HPP Framework: Primary Prevention & Health Equity

There is growing recognition that where we live, work, play and go to school profoundly shapes our health, opportunities and quality of life. HPP work focuses on making and influencing changes to these environments in order to maximize health and equity. HPP work focuses on low-income neighborhoods where there are fewer places to safely be physically active, where there is limited access to fresh foods and abundant fast food restaurants and corner stores. Low-income people of color — in San Mateo County primarily African Americans, Latinos and Pacific Islanders — have the highest rates of preventable health issues. To reverse these trends and build health equity HPP focuses prevention efforts in these areas.

Focus of Internship Projects

Internship projects may consist of work in one or more of the following areas:

a) access to healthy foods
b) school wellness and educational attainment
c) land use planning, transportation and built environment
d) epidemiology
e) community engagement and capacity building
f) youth development

Visit for more information about the work of HPP.


  • Current undergraduate and graduate level students and recent graduates — up to one year after graduation date — are eligible to apply. You may not be a current San Mateo County employee.
  • Successful applicants will demonstrate one or more of the following:
    • You, or a member of your family, have been adversely affected by health inequities related to any of the following:
      a) systemic failures of the social, physical or economic environment
      b) limited or no access to health care
      c) live or grew up in a low-income neighborhood
      d) are the first in your family to attend higher education
      e) have experienced discrimination due to race, ethnicity
    • Have a passion for addressing health and inequity, and have experience working in programs that address health inequities. This can be through a multitude of intervention types and variety of locations or organizations.
  • Health Policy and Planning is seeking students who are highly motivated, hardworking, team players, responsible, and creative. HPP is a fast-paced environment where organizational skills and self-motivation are critical.

Internship Term & Pay

The HPP Summer Internship program is from June through August and the Fall/Spring Internship is from November through April.  Reasonable timeframe adjustments can be negotiated. Interns must commit to working a minimum of 32 hours per week for the Summer Internship and 16 hours per week for the Fall/Spring Internship. Undergraduate interns are paid $16 per hour. Graduate students are paid $18.91 per hour.

How to Apply

The 2014-15 Fall/Spring internship program recruitment is currently closed. Please check back in Janauary/February for the 2015 Summer internship opportunity. We only accept applications during open recruitment.

When available, internship applications should be submitted to or faxed to (650) 377-1967 with the required attachments below. Only completed applications will be reviewed.  Please contact us if you do not receive confirmation that we received your application. If selected, you will be invited for an interview. In-person interviews are strongly preferred, but telephone interviews can be arranged if needed.

  1. Completed supplemental questionnaire
  2. Two references
  3. Resume


Have questions? Please review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or contact:

Rosa Torpis
Program Coordinator
225 37th Avenue, 3rd Floor
San Mateo, CA 94403

Justin Watkins, MPH
Community Health Planner
225 37th Avenue, 3rd Floor
San Mateo, CA 94403

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