REACH is a nine-week paid summer internship program offered by AHS for those interested in a career in public health or health-related fields. The program’s goal is to encourage pre-health professionals to choose careers that will focus on the undeserved Asian American community.

Through direct clinical experience, community health advocacy activities, and self-directed projects, REACH will introduce interns to the dynamic environment of a community health center. REACH is a program of the Pipeline Committee, an advocacy group of AHS employees formed in 2006 to address the ongoing need for linguistically and culturally competent health care professionals in our community.

Direct Clinical/Operational Experience:

Interns will rotate through various aspects of a community health setting, as described below:

  • Clinical Services: Interns will follow select patients through their clinic visits by shadowing a medical assistant, observing the physical-patient encounter, and by sitting in on behavioral therapy sessions.
  • Development/Policy: Interns will work closely with the management team to learn the operations os a community health center, including advocacy-building, policy-making, and fundraising.
  • Community Services and Research: Interns will assist with community-based programs that address the multifaceted issues facing the local community. This includes attending the meetings of our Patient Leadership Councils, helping with civic engagement campaigns, observing staff at the Youth Program, and other activities.
  • Membership: Interns will learn about health care access in the safety net system by doing outreach to patients to enroll them in health insurance, including Medi-Cal and Covered California.

Special Projects:

Interns will have the opportunity to develop a special project that will benefit AHS and the community at large. By working directly with a mentor, interns will gain enhanced skills in research, as well as in program development, implementation, and improvement.

Community Health Seminars:

To complement the education experience, community leaders will guest lecture on the many facets of community health issues important in today’s political climate, and essential to the delivery of care to the Asian-American underserved.

Question: Do you provide housing?
No, we do not. However, we do try to provide assistance in locating affordable housing.

Question: I am an international student. Can I still apply?
International students must have a valid working permit/visa to be considered for this paid internship.  International students with student visas will only be considered as a volunteer.  They may participate in the internship but will not be paid.

Question: Can my letters of recommendations be sent via email?
Answer: Yes, as long as it comes from the email account of the person writing the letter of recommendation. If your recommender prefers to send a physical letter, please include a note of their full name and contact information in your application submission. They may send the letter to Asian Health Services Headquarters at the same address listed for official transcripts.

Question: How much are is the internship stipend?
The financial compensation varies from year to year, but is approximately $2500-$3000.

Question: What are the work hours during the internship?
9am to 5pm Monday through Friday. There may be rare events on weekends or evenings, but attendance is not required.

Question: Can I take courses at same time as internship?
Answer: We expect all interns to be present during the entirety of the 9 weeks and during regular work hours.

Question: Why should I do the REACH internship?
Our prior REACH interns say it best:

“I love the REACH program! It provided invaluable hands-on learning experiences that really taught me the reality of what it looks like to work with communities of color in a culturally competent way. The preceptors and mentors are always willing to help and answer questions, and made me feel welcome.”

“Interning at AHS has been an invaluable experience in both public health and medicine. I was exposed to a variety of areas relating to how a community health center functions, including shadowing physicians and community programs. I had to opportunity to pursue my own interests, while also discovering new areas of interest!”

“This was really fun opportunity, and I got to learn a lot about community health while exploring Chinatown! This really solidified my decision to go into medicine, and I got a lot of different perspectives on health while working here.”

Hear from our 2023 Interns

Jessica Lapurga

“The REACH internship is a helpful exploration not just for those looking to go into medicine, but perfect for anyone passionate about public health, community health, policy, and advocacy. As someone exploring the realm of public administration and social work, I learned so much about how to serve and advocate for underserved communities in various different capacities.”

Project: The Follow-Up PHQ-9 Depression Remission Project is an effort to investigate PHQ-9 results in patients to see where AHS can focus its efforts in order to help our patients achieve remission from depression. Under the supervision of Quality Improvement, I sought to understand how AHS screens for depression in patients and how depression is treated by providers. My project with Quality Improvement critically analyzed the data regarding the PHQ-9 and depression remission to meet the HRSA UDS Quality of Care goal and taught me how to use quantitative and qualitative data to create incremental solutions.

Tida Ngov

“The REACH program was an amazing experience. It helped me broaden my understanding of healthcare, specifically community-based healthcare that helps serve marginalized communities. It was wonderful to be able to work with and gain insight from passionate community advocates, and help give back to the community.”

Project: My project focused on the patient experience of black/African American-identifying patients at AHS, specifically at HCH. I was able to interview patients on their experiences and gain insight into ways we can work to improve the care that they receive, specifically addressing discrimination and racism that they may experience.

Amy Tran

“I recommend the REACH internship to anyone pursuing a career in healthcare. You gain invaluable experiences and skills and also become part of the AHS community. The program empowers you, both as a student and future healthcare professional, and lends perspective on the social determinants of health within your community.”

Project: My project addressed language discordance within clinic settings, specifically relating to the health coaches at Chenming & Margaret Hu Medical Center (HMC). I worked on creating a standardized language resource, in Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Khmer, for health coaches to more easily navigate rooming patients when they are language discordant with patients. In the second part of my project, I researched mobile translation programs that could potentially be applied to the workflow of healthcare providers

Nathan Tam

“I would recommend this program to others! The organization is so unique in its design, and it operates with so many different pieces working to serve the community. The people that work at AHS are all so amazing and kind.”

Project: I worked alongside the Quality Insurance department helping to research our screening for colorectal cancer amongst eligible patients. I assessed the current workflow and assessed how a bulk order system could potentially provide a more streamlined process for AHS.

Applications Are Now Being Accepted for the REACH Program 2024!

Important Dates:

Application Deadline: March 8, 2024
Interview Period: March 25, 2024 – April 5, 2024
Acceptance Notifications: April 19, 2024
Program Dates: June 17, 2024 – August 16, 2024

How to Apply:

The application is available online at  (Download Here)

Documents Requested:

  1. Cover letter and Curriculum Vitae
  2. REACH Application
  3. Official Transcript
  4. Personal Statement
  5. TWO Letters of Recommendation (academic and non-academic)

All application materials, excluding official transcript, must be e-mailed to This is a change from previous years which allowed application submissions either via e-mail or by postal mail. 2024 Applications will be accepted via e-mail ONLY.

DEADLINE: March 8, 2024 11:59 PM PST.

Official Transcripts must have original seal and may be mailed to:
Asian Health Services – REACH Internship 2024
Attention: Jade MacMillan
101 8 th  Street, Suite 100
Oakland, CA. 94607
United States

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact Jade MacMillan at Our program leads look forward to reviewing your application.

CANCELLED: 2021 REACH Summer Internship Program

We are sad to announce that we have decided to cancel our 2021 REACH Summer Internship Program. Please check back in Fall 2021 for 2022’s program information. Any updates will be posted here.

Important Dates:

  • Program Dates: mid-June to mid-August
  • Application postmark deadline: March
  • Interviews: March and April
  • Acceptance Notifications: late April

Please refer to the FAQ on this page if you have any questions about the internship program or application process. If you have further questions, please contact