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MPH Student Samantha Hayes Completes Internship at Cardinal Glennon in Incident Command System

by Joseph Beem

Samantha Hayes, a second-year Master of Public Health (MPH) student with dual concentrations in Epidemiology and Biosecurity and Disaster Preparedness, is working to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This Summer, Hayes completed an internship at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. While at Cardinal Glennon, Hayes worked as an intern for the ‘Incident Command System.’ During the COVID-19 pandemic, Cardinal Glennon has used their ‘Incident Command Center’ to address hospital operations.

Hayes was tasked with several large projects, however she felt that her most important was developing a comprehensive Incident Command System Guidance document. 

Samantha Hayes

“(The document) outlined the actions and considerations that our ‘Incident Command Center’ should consider in the event of another outbreak,” Hayes said. 

Hayes felt like her role to continually review evidence regarding COVID-19 and its implications on the current operations of the 'Incident Command Center' made a big impact on prevention at Cardinal Glennon.

“By working in the ‘Incident Command Center,’ I was able to focus on limiting the disease transmission within the hospital as well as the community and help devise a plan for future pandemic or infectious disease incidents,” Hayes said.

Hayes says that this internship allowed her to see the value of working on an interdisciplinary team and the different challenges that she faced in her role. 

“This experience allowed me to see how an ICS operates and how crucial and robust the communication strategies are to the efficiency of a hospital,” she said. “I saw just how important pre-established protocols were to be adequately prepared for any incident.” 

With her internship under her belt, Hayes believes she is ready to take the next step in her professional development. After working in the ‘Incident Command System’ she will be ready to go directly into the workforce and possesses the skills needed to be successful, which is a key trait of all Saint Louis University students.


College for Public Health and Social Justice

The Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice is the only academic unit of its kind, studying social, environmental and physical influences that together determine the health and well-being of people and communities. It also is the only accredited school or college of public health among nearly 250 Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States.

Guided by a mission of social justice and focus on finding innovative and collaborative solutions for complex health problems, the College offers nationally recognized programs in public health, social work, health administration, applied behavior analysis, and criminology and criminal justice.