Residency Program Practicum Training: Suffolk County Department of Health Services
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS) , which serves a County population of approximately 1.4 million, consists of 7 operating Divisions. The SCDHS is a site for all aspects of the training program, and residents may elect to spend the bulk of the practicum year in health department programs apart from the longitudinal training provided at the medical school. The SCDHS is an important site for training in environmental health, since it has one of the largest environmental health services in the country. The SCDHS Office of Biostatistics, which is responsible for the collection and analysis of epidemiologic and health service data, will contribute to residency field experience in biostatistics and epidemiology. Opportunities for training in health services administration are also provided within the SCDHS. Residents can assist Division Directors and Program Administrators in developing and implementing program standards, evaluation and review procedures. They can also be involved in studies analyzing the key health needs of the people of Suffolk County, as well as those which provide alternative options and strategies. Residents may also participate in the development of health management information systems and in identifying the appropriate data that must be collected and reports prepared to meet information needs. Residents can also participate in quality assessments and gain experience in health services administration within the Department’s administrative unit, which includes personnel, budgeting, accounting, auditing, state and federal reimbursements, and purchasing and contract management.
Training in clinical preventive medicine is also available. The Divisions of Public Health, Patient Care, and Mental Health, have been actively involved in a wide spectrum of preventive services, including childhood immunization campaigns and screening for high-risk infants. The County health centers and satellite clinics are sites for clinical preventive medicine training and longitudinal ambulatory care experiences. Maternal and child health training can be obtained in child health and prenatal and family planning clinics. Sexually transmitted disease and tuberculosis control programs also offer special opportunities. The SCDHS has a Bureau for AIDS Prevention and Control, with education offered to the public and professional health care providers, and emphasis is directed toward prevention, testing, counseling, ambulatory treatment, and home health care. Statistical information is used for planning and epidemiological purposes. The SCDHS Office of Health Education and Public Information provides additional opportunities for practical experience in clinical preventive medicine and behavioral aspects of the field. Priority has been given to campaigns on smoking, exercise, and diet/nutrition. Residents can be involved with staff in the planning, development, and implementation of multimedia education efforts in a variety of settings: community, schools, worksite, clinics, and in-service. The Department incorporates mass media in its campaigns, and residents are oriented to working with the press and electronic media. The SCDHS has a license from the NYSDOH as a Medicaid managed care provider. This provides the residents with the opportunity for involvement in a health department-administered managed care system for the disadvantaged.