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Student Academic Internship Program (SAIP)

United States Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS)
Office for Civil Rights - Washington, DC


The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) conducts public education, outreach, complaint investigation and resolution, and other compliance activities to ensure that people living in the United States have equal access to health care in all HHS-funded programs without facing unlawful discrimination or impermissible disclosure or use of protected health information.

OCR enforces Federal laws that prohibit discrimination by health care and human service providers that receive funds from DHHS. Such laws include Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Community Service Assurance Provisions of the Hill-Burton Act, and the HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rules.

Student Internship Opportunities - Volunteer Positions

Civil Rights Division

The student will support the policy development, interpretation, and dissemination work of the Division through assistance in research and analysis of issues affecting vulnerable populations and the development of informational and technical materials for the public and OCR staff. Specific tasks may include legal research on questions arising from statutes administered by or affecting the Department; drafting of proposed opinions on individual investigations or other matters where formats and precedents have been established; review and analysis of state and Federal legislative proposals and of research and draft reports; and participation in the provision of technical assistance to investigators and other field office staff. The student will draft resource materials for staff and the public; develop briefing materials for OCR and department executive staff; and attend and summarize meetings on topics related to OCR's priority initiatives. The student may also assist senior staff with special projects associated with Presidential and Secretarial Initiatives and OCR's enforcement and outreach activities.

PreGrant Office - Civil Rights Division

The student intern will be trained to conduct pre-grant reviews of health care facilities. This will include contacting health care facilities and providing assistance in drafting policy documents related to nondiscrimination, communication with persons with limited English proficiency, grievance procedures, required public notices, and their policy for communicating with and providing auxiliary aids for sensory-impaired persons.

Health Information Privacy Division

The student will have the opportunity to obtain experience in the full range of functions performed by programmatic, professional staff in the Health Information Privacy Division. The student will be assist staff in the research, preparation, and drafting of documents including internal office memoranda, challenges to OCR HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rule findings, negotiation, enforcement, health care information technology & security, and litigation strategies. In addition, the student will assist in developing documentation to address public information requirements and provide program guidance to OCR staff nationwide, other HHS components and external stakeholders. The student will gain exposure to compliance and enforcement activities of the HIPAA Rules and the application of policies to ensure consistency in interpretation of these rules. The student may be given the opportunity to participate in informal or administrative proceedings, e.g., to observe rule-making and hearings before administrative law judges. The student may also assist senior staff with special projects associated with OCR's outreach activities.

Please contact OCR's Human Resources for additional information about internship opportunities:

Human Resources Officer
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office for Civil Rights - 5th Fl, Room 511-E
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20201

Email: OCRInternships@HHS.gov

The Office for Civil Rights is an exciting agency for an internship for those who are interested. We look forward to hearing from you!

Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on July 26, 2013