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Doctor of public health student to intern with federal mental health, substance misuse agency

Liba Blumberger, a graduate student from Penn State College of Medicine’s doctoral program in Public Health, has been selected to participate in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 2022 summer internship program.

The program provides interns the opportunity to gain insight and practical experience related to the prevention and treatment of mental health conditions and/or substance misuse. Blumberger, the only Penn State student accepted into the 10-week program, is among 22 undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States participating in this educational opportunity.

“This internship provides a unique opportunity for me to utilize what I have learned within the doctoral program to assist communities in how they approach substance use,” said Blumberger, a doctoral research assistant. “Since the Biden Administration began to incorporate harm reduction as a key component of the federal overdose prevention strategy, it’s a perfect time for me to jump on board.”

The federally-funded internship supports SAMHSA’s work to reduce health disparities in the treatment of mental health and/or substance use disorders. Interns will work full-time within one of the following areas:

  • Government policies and regulations
  • Health information technology
  • Program administration, operations and management
  • Research and data analysis
  • Marketing and communications
  • Grant management

“Our program is very proud of Liba’s acceptance into this internship that will further provide the skills and leadership necessary to pursue her goal of working to prevent mental health and substance use disorders,” said Betsy Aumiller, Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Program director.

This year’s internship program received more than 850 applications. As part of the program, Blumberger will receive a stipend and will be mentored by a SAMHSA administrator. She will work full time within the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention on projects that support federal, state and community-based programs and best practices in treatment and prevention.

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