Position Description

Digital Media Intern, Overdose Prevention
Location United States
# of openings 1
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Vital Strategies, headquartered in New York City, is an international public health organization. Our programs strengthen public health systems and address the world’s leading causes of illness, injury and death. We currently work in 73 countries, supporting data-driven decision making in government, advancing evidence-based public health policies and mounting strategic communication campaigns. Vital Strategies’ priorities are driven by the greatest potential to improve and save lives. They include cardiovascular health, tobacco control, road safety, obesity prevention, epidemic prevention, overdose prevention, environmental health, vital statistics systems building and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis treatment research. Our programs are primarily concentrated in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific. Please visit our website at www.vitalstrategies.org to find out more about our work.

We believe our programs are strengthened when they are developed and supported by individuals with diverse life experiences, whose understanding of social and cultural issues can help make Vital’s work more inclusive. All internships at Vital Strategies and Resole to Save Lives are paid opportunities. We encourage people of all racial, economic, social, cultural, sexual orientation, and gender expressions to apply.

At Vital Strategies we value learning and personal development which is why we believe it is important to mentor future professionals who will grow personally and professionally and create impact in the public health sector. As a Vital intern you will have the chance to develop skills and contribute to our initiatives through engaging, meaningful work assignments that can help jump start your career in public health.

The Opportunity

Vital Strategies Overdose Prevention Program partners with state and local governments and community organizations, to fund and implement interventions and achieve policy and practice changes towards a sustainable reduction in overdose deaths. We are currently working in four states: Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Our program spans sectors and stakeholders, and focuses in four priority domains related to drug use and overdose:

  • Expanding access to medications: naloxone, buprenorphine, and methadone.
  • Mobilizing communities, promoting racial equity, and strengthening community-based services and support for people who use drugs
  • Transforming the response to drug use from a criminal-moral problem to a health issue
  • Using data to inform policy and response


The Overdose Prevention Program is offering a student internship position with our communications team to support and promote the program’s work. Our media work will promote specific projects funded in the intervention categories listed above, and have a particular focus on the following goals for messaging and advancing public discussion:

  1. Promoting racial equity in community-based harm reduction services
  2. Expanding low-threshold access to agonist medications for opioid use disorder
  3. Implementing a health-based response to drug use in criminal legal systems
  4. Coalition-building and community mobilization for policy change

Interns tasks would include:

  • Supporting social media efforts including, but not limited to, posting, language development, and identifying opportunities 
  • Helping to draft press materials including, but not limited to, press releases, statements, and blogs
  • Researching, identifying, and helping with outreach to journalists covering the overdose crisis
  • Participating in strategic meetings with Overdose Prevention Program (OPP), Policy and Communications (PAC), and funded partners and consultants
  • Building email distribution lists for media contacts, project partners, and stakeholders
  • Other research and tasks under direction of Overdose Prevention Program staff



Education and Work Experience

  • Undergraduate (rising junior or senior) or graduate student studying media, journalism, digital media, or related field, preferred
  • Previous work or internship experience in media a plus

Skills and Knowledge

  • Familiarity or strong interest in substance use harm reduction
  • Strong written communication skills
  • Ability to communicate with a broad audience of people with diverse backgrounds
  • Familiarity with communication and social media platforms
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and autonomously
  • Comfortable with taking initiative and being resourceful 
  • Ability to adapt to new technologies
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