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Completing a Title V Maternal and Child Health Internship

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September 28, 2020

Elikem Togo, a second-year MPH student in the department of Community Health and Prevention, completed a Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Internship at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) over the summer. The national Title V internship is designated to help future MCH professionals gain experience working in a state Title V agency and provides mentorship and guidance from a Title V preceptor.

As a future MCH professional, Togo wanted an internship — also known as the Applied Practical Experience (APE) at Dornsife — that would allow her to gain real-world experience at the government-level. 

In the two months Togo virtually interned, she helped the Wisconsin DHS create a database of MCH agencies across the state for internal use, developed culturally-tailored social media and traditional media campaigns to promote the agencies’ services, and implemented several feedback surveys to evaluate outreach efforts. 

A highlight for Togo was leveraging the popularity of social media to expand mothers' knowledge of the Wisconsin DHS’s programs. When developing a social media strategy, representation was important to her. “I wanted to make sure that the content I created showcased the diversity of Wisconsin's communities,” she said. 

Additionally, Togo notes the importance of developing low-tech public health campaigns because of technology barriers that exist. “Social media is a great promotion tool, but it's not accessible to everyone, so I was happy to have the support of my team on that initiative as well,” she said. 

After each of the campaigns were up and running, Togo conducted a survey about the campaigns that engaged community members and agency leaders across the state. She collected feedback and insights that she presented to various stakeholders. “I received positive feedback, which was rewarding,” she said.

Togo saw firsthand the value of engaging community members. “The internship confirmed how important it is to include community members in public health initiatives, and it's something I hope to continue to do in my own public health career,” she said.