Student Volunteers

Volunteer Internship Program

The Crossroad Volunteer Internship Program provides the opportunity for interns to experience the profound effects poverty has on health care through working one-on-one with patients. Interns assist patients as case managers and help schedule referral appointments at outside offices while taking into consideration potential limiting barriers such as lack of insurance or transportation issues. Interns strive to make health care as simple and accessible as possible for patients. Through this invaluable hands-on learning experience, students become familiar with insurance policies, office procedures, electronic medical records and more.

Students work in a clinical setting and assist physicians, nurses and administrators who are able to share their perspective through mentorship and clinical training. Interns are respected as professional members of the patient care team. As a result, they gain an insider’s understanding of the operations of a community clinic— an experience that helps them determine their specific course for future study.

This program is unique in that it is a yearlong commitment, consisting of one 4-hour shift per week, where students directly communicate with patients, work on the clinical and administrative end of patient care, and establish relationships with the providers at our clinics. Although this program is geared toward undergraduate students interested in health care, social work, public health or medical interpretation, career changers and graduate students are welcome to apply.


Our mission is to provide service-based, experiential learning for students in the Cincinnati community. This is achieved by partnering with leaders in primary care as a way to empower students to be changemakers in their own community through solidarity with the poor. ​

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Interns commit to one year of working at Crossroad Health Center on pre-designated patient care tasks, as well as innovating new ways to use their time and unique talents to serve the patients, providers and staff. The year is broken into three semesters, each of which requires one 4-hour shift per week. Interns also attend monthly meetings in order to ensure quality care for the patient and reinforce lessons learned within the program.


Our only true requirement is completion of one semester of undergraduate coursework. We competitively recruit and train students across disciplines. Future health care administrators, epidemiologists, social workers, occupational therapists, nurses and physicians are encouraged to apply. We currently have participants from the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Northern Kentucky University, Miami University, post-baccalaureate students and other young professionals looking to enter the field of health care.


We recruit new interns 3 times a year — the weeks prior to Fall Semester, Spring Semester, and Summer Semester. Application to the Crossroad Volunteer Internship Program is a competitive process and consists of the following:

1) Online Application​

  • The Online Application will be opened and closed according to the schedule listed below. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we cannot consider late online applications.
  • The Online Application consists of:
    • Basic Application Information
    • Two Essay prompts
    • Professional Resume: 2-page maximum

2)  Interview at Crossroad Health Center

  • After an initial evaluation of the online applications, eligible applicants will be invited to interview. Applicants will be interviewed in small groups, and they will be evaluated on an individual basis. Each group will be given a task to complete in the time allotted.

Questions regarding application to the Crossroad Volunteer Internship Program may be directed to

Fall 2024 Application Cycle


Applications to join the Fall 2024 cohort will open Monday, July 1st 2024, and remain open until Friday, July 19th 2024.  If you would like to apply please click here for the application

Guiding Principles

  • Build relationships with patients and the community.
  • Support and learn from primary care providers through hands-on interactions.
  • Be proactive and engaged in providing accessible health care to a diverse  patient population.
  • Innovate new ways in which volunteers can participate in improving the delivery of care.
  • Have a permanent and lasting effect on patient care and pre-medical education in our community.
  • Guide the next generation of health care professionals by providing an immersive and formative experience in primary care medicine.


The Crossroad Volunteer Internship Program was founded in January 2013 by Kyle Vath, Alex Pennekamp, and a group of seven premedical students.


​The idea for this program was championed by Alex Pennekamp, a pre-medical student and medical assistant at Crossroad. His vision was to create an experience where students in the Cincinnati community could learn about primary care medicine, witness health disparities in their own communities first-hand, and work to be a part of the solution. Alex went on to attend medical school at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine. When asked what his Crossroad experience meant to him, as well as what he hopes other students will gain from the program, this is what he had to say:

Crossroad Health Center exposed me to a type of medicine that premedical and medical students rarely see: care of the neediest, most marginalized and socioeconomically depressed patients. This early exposure to inner-city primary care has certainly changed the trajectory of both my professional aspirations and my view of society in general. The reality and frustration that huge gaps in medical care exist were balanced by one idea: caring can make a difference. Without my experience at Crossroad interacting directly with patients as a premedical student, I would not have the framework and interest in working with underserved populations that I have now. I am infinitely grateful that in joining the Crossroad family, I have a group of professional contacts that have helped me understand the importance of compassionate care, spirituality and selflessness in practice.
Alex Pennekamp, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

Interns Past & Present