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Public Health AmeriCorps creates path for future health leaders

Public Health AmeriCorps creates paths for future health leaders

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) —  It’s National Public Health Week and News 8 is highlighting Public Health AmeriCorps. 

It is a new program and innovative partnership between AmeriCorps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public Health AmeriCorps works to create pathways for future public health leaders by recruiting, training, and developing a diverse public health workforce ready to respond to the nation’s public health needs.

Megna Chari and Mandeep Singh joined Daybreak on Friday to discuss the program. Chari is an aspiring doctor currently placed at the Eskenazi Health Emergency Department. Singh is placed with the Marion County Public Health Department with The Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis, Inc. 

“It’s really important because it helps bring together all these individuals with different unique skills and their own career motives, and it helps bring them together to work as a team to address a single dilemma. So, here in Marion County, we work in Ryan White programs where we address the issue of HIV and AIDS. It also brings together different, unique career motives, developing into professional collaboration,” Singh said.

Since launching in 2022, Public Health AmeriCorps has placed more than 4,000 members at more than 1,000 sites in nearly every state, including Guam and Puerto Rico.

“You’re directly in the community, so you’re able to make a tangible impact. And I think like moving forward into a career, this could really help to set you up, and to kind of see first-hand what the issues are of the community,” Chari said. 

Chari successfully fundraised around $15,000 with her teammates on a project while working with Eskenazi. 

“I’m in the emergency department there and I’m working towards HIV and Hepatitis C prevention and education. I work as an HIV tester there and I also have a variety of other tasks related to social determinants of health to try and address and meet those needs,” Chari said.

Singh developed a presentation to educate the Marion County Public Health Department on cultural considerations and explained his work within Indianapolis.

“I’m at the Marion County Public Health Department – I work as a community liaison. And what my role is, to reach out to different agencies and different community members and gather resources and essentially use these resources to provide and meet the unmet needs of the community,” Singh said.

Learn more information about joining Public Health AmeriCorps here.

News 8’s Hanna Mordoh, Megna Chari, and Mandeep Singh (WISH PHOTO)