Students were asked to describe their most significant learning experience and how the learning experience would be applicable to their public health career. For more insights from students about their APEx, please see our Student Quote Document.
- "The best part about this APEx course has been reading through the discussions from classmates. I am so thankful to have such thoughtful and passionate individuals committed to public health."
- “I now better understand inter-professional collaboration and how it is key to starting and moving forward with any major public health program. This understanding will help me provide better collaborative communication and planning in future projects.”
- “I’m learning that I have a lot of room to grow in the areas of communication and advocacy. It sounds much easier in theory than it actually is in practice, because it involves a high level of comfort with the message being communicated, and a high level of comfort with people. For people like me, who are naturally more analytical and introverted, it can be a little more difficult – especially when still in the learning stages of the topic being discussed.”
- "I will never again forget that the data I work with represents real peoples' lives."
Advice From Current APEx students:
- “Begin searching for a partner organization early and get the contacts you need so you can begin building relationships.”
- "Think intentionally about the type of partner organization you want to work with. Spend more time planning with a partner and ensure good communication before the APEx begins."
- "Revisit the APEx Learning Contract at least every two weeks to keep the specific goals and scope of experience in mind."
- "Schedule a standing meeting with your preceptor and set structured work hours to help with your accountability."
APEx Ignite Presentations
Student Name: Lorisa Pennell
Partner Organization: Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE)
Title: APEx Fall 2022
Description: My totally awesome internship at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment provided me invaluable experience. Through the completion of my two products, I was introduced to several software programs to include Qualtrics and Tableau, conducted research within shared risk and protective factors within injury and violence, and had the honor of collaborating with experienced professionals in the public health field. My APEx experience was one of the most rewarding and beneficial classes I have taken thus far in my MPH journey.
Student Name: Mia Morton
Partner Organization: Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology
Title: Mitigating Negative Impacts of Vicarious Trauma among Public Health Professionals
Description: In Summer 2022, I completed my APEx with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology. I was also a participant in the Health Resources and Services Administration-sponsored Region VII Midwestern Public Health Training Center Field Placement Internship Program. I focused on promoting wellbeing, preventing burnout, and mitigating negative impacts of vicarious trauma among Nebraska Maternal Mortality Review Committee members. I completed a literature review, developed, distributed, and analyzed a survey, engaged with DHHS staff and stakeholders during meetings, developed an organizational self-care plan, and facilitated an educational presentation.
Student Name: Emmanuel Nazaire Essam Nkodo
Partner Organization: Iowa Department of Public Health, Ryan White Part B Program
Title: Stop HIV Iowa
Description: My apex was an enlightening experience discovering the field of quality improvement in public health. The Iowa Ryan White Part B program is focused on closing the gap for underserved communities and especially minorities affected by HIV. Being able to set concrete performance measures but also identify populations not reached and experiencing disparities are critical skills I have learned.
Student Name: Shari Bowers
Partner Organization: Indiana 211 - Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
Title: Development of Documentation for Public Health Information and Referral Services
Description: My main responsibility at Indiana 211 was to help create documentation that was missing for AIRS accreditation, a process that Indiana 211 is required to go through as an information and referral service. I created Advocacy Policies and Procedures, Crisis Intervention Policies and Procedures, and an Indiana 211 Call Center Agent Training Manual. I also created Program Inclusion Criteria, expanded Indiana 211’s existing organizational chart, offered data dashboard enhancement suggestions to the data and analytics team, and participated in outreach events.
Student Name: Andrea Peterson
Partner Organization: Osage County Health Department
Title: Improving Rural Health in Osage County
Description: An applied practice experience partnering with Osage County Health Department, a rural, local health department (LHD) in Kansas. This experience focused on developing a community health needs assessment, planning community events, attending county commission meetings, learning about the roles of a local health department, and observing administrative roles. I was able to improve my communication skills, develop digital media, learn leadership skills, and understand the importance of an LHD. The experience provided me a unique perspective into rural health and created a sense of community with Osage County.
Student Name: Bailey Reigle
Partner Organization: The Arc of Nebraska
Title: Stop, Collaborate, and Listen
Description: My APEx with The Arc of Nebraska allowed me to get a sneak peak at what a career in disability services would look like. I was able to research Medicaid waivers and by doing so was able to connect and collaborate with a lot of individuals in the field.
Student Name: Elise Lowe
Partner Organization: Cody Regional Health Emergency Department
Title: Readiness in Cody, WY
Description: My Apex project involved tabletop and full-scale exercises to test response to a variety of threats in the county and at the hospital. I learned a lot about creating and conducting exercises, as well as the difficult task of writing improvement plans. I had challenges with getting the right people on board every time but had a great experience overall.
Student Name: Elijah Pickel
Partner Organization: Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department
Title: Examining Diabetes in Lancaster County
Description: My APEx revolved around all things diabetes within Lancaster County, Nebraska. I partnered with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and the Diabetes Action Now Coalition and worked to create different resources and education materials for people with diabetes in Lancaster County. Diabetes is a significant health issue here in Nebraska but isn’t addressed with the importance it should be, which is what we are working to change. Overall, this experience was amazing and helped reignite my passion for public health.
Student Name: Emily Morris
Partner Organization: Planned Parenthood North Central States
Title: I Stand with Planned Parenthood: Legislative Action Through Public Health
Description: During the Summer 2022 APEx, I worked with Planned Parenthood North Central States and their Director of Legislative Affairs, Emily Nachtigal. Primarily, the work I did for PPNCS was research based, including social media, legislation tracking, clinic background, and candidate information to build backgrounders on candidates and incumbents running for MN House and Senate in the midterms this year. At the conclusion of the APEx, I find myself with a much more thorough understanding of the work that PPNCS does and the operations of MN state government. Through the experience, I gained competencies in communication in public health and research methods, but my most meaningful experience was being able to connect with other people who are passionate about reproductive health and see the teamwork that goes into their public health organization.
Student Name: Mohamed Keita
Partner Organization: Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board, Epidemiology Center
Title: We Are Warriors: The Epidemiology Center for Great Plains Area Tribes
Description: This APEx project was conducted with the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board Epidemiology Center. The video provides a broad overview of the epidemiology center, its activities, and the student's activities and experience.