Postgraduate Opportunities

Community Health Program Assistant with Partners In Health

Compañeros en Salud (CES) offers a graduating senior of the University of Notre Dame an opportunity to work as a Community Health Programs Assistant for one-year in Chiapas, Mexico. 


Opportunity to work in Chiapas, Mexico as a Community Health Program Assistant with the Partners In Health organization, Compañeros en Salud

Compañeros en Salud (CES) offers a graduating senior of the University of Notre Dame an opportunity to work as a Community Health Programs Assistant for one-year in Chiapas, Mexico. The Kellogg Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame is supporting this position that is part of a broader research and collaborative partnership between the Kellogg Institute and Partners In Health/CES. This will be the seventh year this opportunity has been offered. The start date for this role is early June 2020.  The position will receive two payments, as well as funding to cover expenses including airfare to and from Mexico, health insurance and vaccinations. 

Partners In Health and Compañeros En Salud (CES)

Compañeros en Salud is an affiliate of Partners In Health in Chiapas, Mexico.  CES’s mission is to build a primary health care model of excellence in rural Mexico.  To learn more about the organization and its mission, as well as the location and living conditions of the site please visit  The PIH website offers additional context at

CES strives to create volunteer positions that serve the organization’s mission and priorities as well as provide a substantive learning experience.  These program volunteer roles contribute to key service and research functions of the organization and are not clinical in nature.  The position has a mix of coordination work in the CES office and fieldwork in the community.

All applicants should have high proficiency in Spanish and be able to confidently carry out work exclusively in Spanish.  CES also looks for applicants who are flexible and adaptive, and who have a demonstrated ability to adapt to rural conditions, such as candidates who have lived in a resource-poor or rural area previously.

Role as CES’s Community Health Programs Assistant

The Community Health Programs Assistant will work directly with the Community Health Programs team to supervise, manage, and evaluate the Acompañante Program.  This program seeks to achieve better clinical outcomes and provide patient-centered care for people living with chronic diseases and for pregnant women using community health workers called acompañantes.  This includes, but is not limited to, providing continuing education courses, conducting evaluations of acompañantes, collecting monthly data reports from supervisors and acompañantes, performing interviews with patients, organizing and analyzing data for the Coordinators, and providing general support to the acompañantes. 

The Assistant will work closely with the community physicians and clinical supervisors, and also will have the opportunity and creative freedom to design and develop future community programs, with oversight of the Community Programs Coordinator.  The majority of the work will be in the field, traveling each week to various communities in the mountainous Sierra Madre region of Chiapas. This position is ideal for a candidate with an interest in community health program design and management and/or primary healthcare initiatives in low resource settings.

In addition, CES is interested that the person in this role helps facilitate the projects and partnerships of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies with CES and with PIH. These projects include collaborative research initiatives, development of case studies, opportunities for collaboration with Notre Dame's Keough School of Global Affairs through the Integration Lab, as well as facilitating visits by Notre Dame faculty and students.

Jack Sullivan, a 2019 ND graduate currently working at CES in Chiapas, is happy to serve as a resource for any Notre Dame student interested in more information about this program. His email is  Here is a story about the 2018 ND graduate, Lauren O’Connell, who worked at CES. Read the full story here.

Steve Reifenberg,, Senior Strategic Advisor of the Kellogg Institute and the Co-Director of the Integration Lab of the Keough School of Global Affairs, is the University’s liaison with PIH and CES.


Specific Responsibilities

  • Instruct continuing education courses for acompañantes in all communities
  • Design new lesson plans based on the needs of the acompañantes and their patients
  • Facilitate communication between acompañantes and community physicians to ensure that vulnerable patients are being advocated for
  • Collect monthly records from community supervisors and address any concerns with acompañantes or patients enrolled in the program
  • Input and analyze chronic patient data regarding disease control and treatment adherence
  • Evaluate Acompañante performance through methods such as patient satisfaction interviews and practicums
  • Help the Coordinator brainstorm, design, and implement new community programs, with special attention to their planning, logistics, and feasibility
  • Coordinate program implementation and logistics with the Maternal Health team
  • Provide general support for the Community Health team, including organizing data collection tools and refreshments for continuing education sessions
  • Interact regularly with the representative at Notre Dame to facilitate the University’s on-going relationship with CES and with PIH.


  • High proficiency in Spanish
  • Experience or strong interest in working with community health initiatives
  • Ability to adapt to a dynamic, changing work environment
  • Experience and enjoyment in teaching and creating lesson plans
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Ability to problem-solve as part of a team and with limited resources
  • Proactive, collaborative, and flexible work style
  • Well-developed organizational skills
  • Fluency in Excel and/or Google Sheets; interest in learning new data systems and techniques


To apply to work as a Community Health Program Assistant with the Compañeros en Salud, please go to 

  • Two essays (see for background information)
    Essay one: Describe your professional and personal goals. Please label the page with essay question and name. Limit to one page, text 12pt.
    Essay two: Describe how your most relevant academic, extracurricular, volunteer, internship, and/or professional experiences will help you contribute to Compañeros En Salud. Given the specific approach to development of Compañeros En Salud, why are you a good fit with this organization? Be specific. Limit to two pages, text 12pt.
  • Résumé
    A résumé with details on relevant international experience and previous experience with government, health, community organizations, or volunteer agencies
  • One letter of recommendation sent by recommender directly to Steve Reifenberg ( or 230 Hesburgh Center for International Studies, Notre Dame, IN 46556)

Personal interviews will be required of applicants who are selected as finalists. 





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