From MPHTC Intern to Black Hawk County Epidemiologist

In the summer of 2019, Aaron Reinke had a field placement with the Iowa Public Health Association to do an assessment of workforce needs within our state. Aaron was completing his MPH in epidemiology and this field placement gave him the opportunity to practice research skills including coalition building, survey design and analysis, and he has since been a key player in convening a statewide workforce development group that meet periodically to discuss challenges, needs, and the group is creating a workforce development playbook.

Aaron is now an epidemiologist at Black Hawk County (Iowa) Health Department. During his interview process, Aaron presented his field placement work to the hiring committee. He leveraged his experience to show the value of workforce development in epidemiology. Aaron says he “never realized how connected every position within a health department is until I started learning workforce development. It has completely changed the way I view public health.” Now, in addition to his duties as epidemiologist, Aaron is also involved in the agency’s workforce development planning. He’s using his field placement experience and his new role within a local health department to continue contributing to and guiding statewide workforce development conversation.