Day 1: My First Day in CHEN

Today, I officially became part of the Communications, Health Education & Nutrition (CHEN) team at the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County Health Department as an intern. I initially met with Mrs. Corey Santorelli, the Health Education Supervisor, at CHEN Division. She assisted in assuring that I would need specific office supplies for my computer desk I would be utilizing for simple tasks. She introduced me to everyone in our division, while I also introduced myself to Dr. John Lanza, who is the Director of the Florida Department of Health Escambia County Health Department. Since today was my first day, I was trained on how to use the computers and applications, the greeting when answering phone calls, and mandatory internship training. The training provided dealt with in-depth knowledge about things to know within the CHEN Division and the health department overall. The training seemed more extensive and detailed that I thought, as some of it was about security breaches, Protected Health Information, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. I am glad it went over helpful steps and guidelines to ensure that the workplace is a safe environment and that everyone that comes and goes into the building has been checked in to assure that not just anyone can enter any part of the building without an escort or a trained staff member with that person. I was able to obtain a picture badge as an intern, but not an entrance key to the building yet. The smallest things even made me feel like I was part of the division, even as an intern. Small things like making my own signature in the e-mail account and having a telephone with the extension directly to my desk was interesting to me. It got me thinking about the real world and how it would be if I had my own desk space in my career.

I was able to attend a CHEN meeting with my supervisor, Corey, my colleague and Health Educator,  Jeanne, Stephanie, the Health Educator Consultant, Nutrition Educator, Skye, and the Registered Dietitian, Kara. Jeanne gave us a presentation about MyPlate that she will soon present to her Faith-based organization and we helped her by critiquing her. We also gave feedback and ideas about the 5-2-1-0 Facebook page, upcoming events within the community, and ideas and ways to accomplish our social marketing strategies. Because today was my first day as an intern, I was able to complete my online training, and review various program information within the CHEN Division that we will be presenting to the community. A few of the various programs that the Florida Department of Health in my county provides that I reviewed include the 5-2-1-0 Let’s Go, Healthiest Weight, and Summer Safety. I am absolutely thrilled to see how the next several months go. I already hear that I have a project waiting for me to start when I come in Wednesday. Of course, it feels a bit overwhelming because there can be many tasks to accomplish that will make a big difference in how to present our division and ‘protect, promote and improve’ the health of the people in general. It will definitely be an interesting, rewarding, and challenging experience in the upcoming months.

Total Daily Hours Earned:  7
Total Acquired Internship Hours: 7


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