Skip Navigation

Student Academic Intership 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 Rule.

2009 Summer Student Intern Opportunities - Volunteer and Paid Positions

Civil Rights Division
The student intern will work under the general supervision of the acting Deputy Director for civil rights and the close guidance and direction of a senior analyst. 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 involved in the research, preparation, and drafting of documents that are generated by programmatic, professional staff in the office, including internal office memoranda, challenges to OCR HIPAA Privacy Rule findings, negotiation, enforcement, and litigation strategies, as well as other documentation to address public information requirements and provide HIPAA Privacy Rule and program advice to OCR staff nationwide, other HHS components and external stakeholders. The student will receive instruction in the HIPAA Privacy Rule Operations, OCR nationwide Privacy Rule compliance activities and the application of policies to ensure consistency in interpretation and compliance enforcement. The student will be given the opportunity to participate in informal or administrative proceedings, e.g., to observe rule-making and hearings before administrative law judges. However, none may occur. The student will work under the general supervision of the Senior Advisor on Health Information Privacy and the close guidance and direction of a senior analyst.

Please contact OCR's Student Intern Coordinator for additional information about internship opportunities:

Mary Gerald
Management Analyst
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office for Civil Rights - 5th FL, Room 598-E
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20201


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