CPCA Welcomes 2019 Summer Intern Cohort!

This year, the  Summer Intern Cohort was comprised of four exceptional health professions and communications students from across the state, and staff were once again offered an opportunity to provide real life work experience to students eager to learn more about community health centers. Through the intern program, CPCA works to increase the diversity of public health and health care leaders working within health professions, as well as to expand the potential leadership pipeline for the Association.

While it might sound clichéd, we feel that this year produced the best intern cohort yet! Keep reading to meet our four summer interns:


Sneha Mehta

Sneha joined CPCA as the Government Affairs intern and was focused largely on issues around Medicare, Medicaid, 340B drug program, and Health Center funding.  Sneha also spent a considerable amount of time researching and analyzing existing FQHC services and activities related to Social Determinants of Health, the findings of which will be used to inform statewide policy and advocacy efforts in this arena. She completed her Bachelors of Arts in Public Health with a minor in Global Poverty and Practice in May 2019 from University of California, Berkley and is considering medical school in her future.


Gelli Pascual

Gelli brought her experience with film production and editing to support the Development & External Relations team to produce marketing videos and collateral for the Association. Most notably, Gelli, together with our entire intern cohort, helped produced a series of videos that highlighted the Association’s many accomplishments on what marked our 25th anniversary of advancing the mission of health centers.  Gelli currently attends Sacramento State University and is pursuing a major in Public Relations and Film Production.


Irina Pavlushkin

Irina was selected to serve as the Health Center Operations intern. As such, Irina spent her summer furthering the scope and depth of technical assistance offerings aimed supporting the overall success and sustainability of California community health centers, with a specific emphasis oral health, emergency preparedness, and health professions licensure processes. Irina is a driven nursing student with a strong interest in public health and ultimately sees herself as a community health nurse.


Joshua Valdez

Joshua Valdez came to the Association with an interest in data and analytics, and worked with our Assistant Director of Data Informatics to help drive the development of training, technical and advocacy efforts for California’s community health centers using data-informed research and analysis. Joshua recently graduated with his Bachelors of Science in Neuroscience from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is interested in better understanding the inequalities of health care with the hopes of becoming a provider in the future.

We can say unequivocally that CPCA gains far more from hosting our annual group of summer interns than we could possibly provide them in return.  But we try!  The students this year have made a tremendous impact on CPCA staff and members; and we hope that through health center site visits, National Health Center Week events, advocacy-related discussions, and an opportunity to witness strategic conversations at the Board of Directors meeting – we have succeeded in planting community health roots within another cohort of dedicated and energetic FUTURE health professionals.

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