Description: Health illiteracy is prevalent within healthcare in general but has an even more important impact upon overall healthcare delivery and care provision within the FQHC setting. Our setting serves a disproportionately higher level of lower socioeconomic, Limited English Proficiency (LEP), and illiterate populations leading to increase stress for both patients and providers. Components of internship:

  • An evidence-based assessment of impact of health illiteracy on overall health indicators for the FQHC,
  • Development of simple, quick point of care tool to assess level of health literacy that can be integrated into our eligibility/registration (Practice Manager) and EMR,
  • Creation of a "toolbox" of resources for care teams to be trained on to help overcome health illiteracy and its detrimental consequences.

Location: Interns would be located at one of our 6 health centers or our administration office in Reno and Sparks, dependent on project and supervisors.

Timeline: TBD. 


Each student will be interviewed for interest and skills related to a specific project. Although not required, it is highly encouraged that the student intern has transportation, a laptop computer and be bilingual in Spanish. At Community Health Alliance, we believe everyone should have access to high-quality health care services, including dental and behavioral health. We have multiple areas of our organization that can incorporate interns utilizing their knowledge in public health and increasing their professional skills. If interns have specific interests in other projects, based on those listed above or self-generated ideas, this can be incorporated. Interns have multiple opportunities to learn about community organizations, education and partnerships through outreach events, meetings, and other activities.


Community Health Alliance is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), providing comprehensive health care to low income and medically underserved people in Washoe County, Nevada. CHA provides an extensive range of health care screening and prevention services, primary care for all ages, pharmacy, dental services (preventive and treatment), integrated behavioral health care and a WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Program. As a FQHC, CHA also provides community education on health issues and outreach to underserved populations. We partner with our patients to ensure that their health care needs are met.

CHA is an organization that builds upon the reputation and history of two known northern Nevada health care providers with similar missions, HAWC Community Health Centers and Saint Mary’s Mission Outreach. The merger combining these organizations took effect on July 1, 2012 when Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center was purchased by a for-profit entity, prompting the divestiture of its Mission Outreach programs.

CHA is the largest provider of primary medical and dental care to low-income families in Northern Nevada. Community Health Alliance provided more than 120,000 patient visits in the first year of combined operation. For more information, visit


Melissa Krall, Director of Population Health Management: Melissa has been a licensed social worker in Nevada with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work since 1992. She has supervised social work interns since 1993 and Public Health interns since 2007 both at CHA and her prior agency.

Please submit an introductory email along with a copy of you your resume’ to Melissa Krall at

Start Date
Spring semester
Fall semester
Summer semester
Community Health Alliance
Reno or Sparks, NV
Project Focus