Engaging Students at the Department of Health

At the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) we know today's students will become tomorrow's leaders. We believe investing in students is critical to ensuring the future success of Washington's public health system and the health and well-being of all Washingtonians.

Who are we?

DOH provides comprehensive public health services and programs to the community through a statewide workforce dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all Washingtonians.

Our mission is to work with others to protect and improve the health of all people in Washington. We center DOH’s cornerstone values of equity, innovation, and engagement in our vision to promote equity and optimal health for all.

Learn more about what we do on our About Us page.

What educational and professional backgrounds do we have?

People who work at DOH have diverse professional and academic backgrounds. These include educational and professional experiences in public health, nursing, medicine, education, biology, chemistry, environmental science, public policy, law, human resources, finance, and much more. We also have staff who have completed graduate studies, including degrees such as Master of Public Health, Master of Public Administration, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Social Work; degrees in law (JD) and medicine (MD); and doctoral programs in public health and other fields.

Given the diversity and breadth of programs and services at DOH, we welcome and value staff with experience and expertise from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines. A breadth of academic experiences among our professionals is just one element of diversity that strengthens our work as an agency.

These staff profiles demonstrate the diversity and breadth of our employees and the work they do at DOH.

Are you interested in an internship at DOH?

We invite you to learn more about our divisions and programs on our Executive Offices webpage.

Anytime during the year, if you are in search of an internship, capstone, or practicum experience, please complete our student expression of interest form and send your resume to Learning@doh.wa.gov. Please note that these opportunities, when available, are generally unpaid.

Paid Internships

On February 1, 2024, DOH launched a paid summer internship program. The Pathways Summer Paid Internship Program at DOH provides paid internship opportunities for 15 post-secondary students selected through an application process.

Interns in the summer program are placed with teams across the agency. During the 10-week period (mid-June to mid-August), the Pathways summer interns dedicate an average of 35 hours per week working on assigned projects to grow their skill sets and engage in other professional development activities.

Eligible students must be pursuing degrees at any college or university, from the associate degree to undergraduate or graduate degree level. The summer 2024 application deadline is closed. Applications will reopen prior to summer 2025.

Find more information in our Pathways Summer Paid Internship Program flier (PDF).

What other academic partnerships exist at DOH?

Academic partnerships are vital to DOH’s work supporting research, innovation, student engagement, workforce development, and a myriad of public health initiatives across the state. Partnerships with academia are invaluable in supporting DOH’s efforts to:

  • Develop a diverse public health workforce and the next generation of public health professionals.
  • Identify areas for collaborative research, including on topics aligned with DOH’s Transformational Plan.
  • Promote excellence by advancing evidence-based public health practice.
  • Support the sharing of expertise between DOH and academic partners. This includes guest speaking opportunities for DOH staff to bring applied public health insights into the classroom. Academic partners interested in having a DOH subject matter expert or leader speak in your course, or at a campus event, may email our academic affairs director.