Bridging the Gaps Internship

Providing community service.
Promoting public health in underserved communities.
Training community-responsive health and social service professionals.

For Students

Next summer you could...

  • Impact underserved communities in a hands-on way
  • Learn about at-risk populations through experiential learning with community-based organizations
  • Collaborate with other health professional students in weekly reflective and didactic sessions
  • Enjoy faculty and community mentoring
  • Earn $3,000 for an intensive, eight-week experience

Applications for summer 2022 are available now. Applicants must complete the Pittsburgh application and submit via email. Pittsburgh medical student applications are eligible for early acceptance.

Download application form (MS Word)

Contact Thistle Elias at or Brandi Boak at with questions.

For Community Organizations

Community site applications for 2022 are available now.

This summer you could...

  • Benefit from the combined skills of a team of health professional students - from nursing, public health, medicine, pharmacy, or social work - to develop criteria, workshops, health materials, etc. that your organization needs to better serve your populations
  • Mentor, guide, and impact the education and awareness of future health professionals, exposing them to the realities of the populations you serve every day, so that they will be better serve those populations in the future

Program Details

Bridging the Gaps gives students the opportunity to work directly with underserved populations of all kinds to better understand their health needs. The internship also provides invaluable community outreach to organizations that are on the front lines of health care. Interns are paired with other health science students to provide the maximum benefits of interdisciplinary learning.

We offer interns the opportunity to work with any one of a range of different underserved populations in Pittsburgh, including people in recovery, children, homeless women, and many other at-risk populations. Past projects have included:Developing and delivering health education curricula...

  • Developing resource guides and informational brochures
  • Internal surveys and needs assessments to improve program quality

Interns must complete a project that they chose in coordination with their community mentor that leaves the host organization with a tangible product. Interns' faculty mentors are available to provide feedback on project design and resources. The project may tie into work already going on in a program or be entirely different in focus. Three pairs of interns are peer-jury selected to present posters at a formal symposium in August, with community and faculty mentors and health professionals in attendance. Read more about recent projects by opening our most recent symposium program!

Once a week, interns attend a variety of reflective sessions here on campus instead of visiting their sites. These include speakers from community-based organizations and discussions about issues that come up throughout the internship, lending an additional multidisciplinary approach. Interns also discuss weekly required readings during reflexive sessions, or may be assigned to respond to them in a journal. Interns are required to maintain a journal to record their activities and reflections and responses to discussion and required readings. Students receive weekly feedback on their journals. We also use this time to assist interns with their projects as needed.

We are proud of this growing tradition of serving our students and surrounding communities and welcome your participation!

intern with children

" have no idea the challenges that these mothers are facing and how it affects them until you see it with your own eyes, hear it with your own ears, firsthand. Bridging the Gaps has taught me to always remember that statistics and stories are attached to real people, with real emotions. We cannot make a difference in their lives unless we meet them where they are."

         -- C. Clark, Human Genetics

Bridging the Gaps News


Bridging the Gaps Pittsburgh celebrates 20 years of promoting health in underserved communities (video) 

Bridging the Gaps Pittsburgh celebrates 20 years of promoting health in underserved communities (video)

Celebrating 20 years of service, BRIDGING THE GAPS PITTSBURGH has focused on promoting health in underserved communities while training future health and social service professionals. More than 350 community health interns have collaborated with 58 community partners to provide over 10,255 days of s... (08/11/2017)