Connecting During COVID-19

Your work inspires us – our faculty, students and staff have great pride in our alumni. We've received an inspiring collection of experiences, across disciplines, of alumni serving the community, meeting challenges and leveraging opportunities this crisis has unveiled. Our aim through sharing these stories is to connect, relate, learn and reflect.

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Sydney Baker and two students mixing a bowl of meat filling
Sydney Baker

“My day is spent working with international students, many of whom already saw this pandemic unfold in their home countries before it arrived in the U.S. I'm applying what I learned at SPH to help assure and advise them. I've also been using our conversations as an opportunity to learn how other countries have handled the disease differently from the U.S. This disease has changed every life on earth in some way and those of us with a public health education need to be more vocal than ever before, while also remembering to be open to new knowledge.”

Sydney Baker, BA ‘17, Public Health Major, Admissions Specialist & Program Coordinator at Cascadia College International Programs

*photo taken before the COVID-19 pandemic

Taha Sabri
Dr. Taha Sabri

“I am leading a #COVID19 mental health response in Pakistan, which consists of a coalition of mental health organisations including one that I founded, Taskeen. Our activities include providing awareness and mental health support to people affected by the crisis.”⁠

-Dr. Taha Sabri, MPH ‘18, UW Department of Global Health, Director of Taskeen in Sehatmand, Pakistan⁠

Ginger Hines working by computer
Ginger Hines

“What I learned in the MPH program years ago was quickly put to use again in my current role as Executive Director of Seattle Children's Care Network. My team and I worked to rapidly share information about #COVID19 with our community pediatric practices in our network. My team has spent more than 350 hours in creating materials for pediatric practices, hosting and facilitating 25 teleconferences (and growing) with these practices about COVID-19, and helping to develop practical approaches for community PCPs in managing primary care operations that incorporates the latest public health guidance. We are starting to measure longer-term impacts now, such as concerning reductions in childhood vaccination rates, and beginning to develop strategies to help mitigate this risk. Very thankful for my public health training these days! Go Dawgs!”

-Ginger Hines, ’00 MPH, Health Services, Executive Director of Seattle Children's Care Network 

Roshan Khatri with coloring books
Roshan Khatri

“We created 'When We All Stayed Home,' a coloring book to support families and children coping with the uncertainties of a world with #coronavirus. The book explains #COVID19 to children and their families and helps them identify normal emotional responses and process their feelings about what they are experiencing.”

-Roshan Khatri, MPH ‘19, UW Department of Global Health, DGH, executive director of Headwaters Relief Organization, a Minnesota-based nonprofit.

Mariel Boyarksy in PPE
Mariel Boyarksy

“For me, the worst days were in the beginning, before we were utterly and completely flooded with #COVID19 cases, but also before we had any sensible policies or procedures in place to handle the coming flood. Our hospital serves a marginalized population of mostly low-income people of color, and we have been chronically short-staffed and under-resourced for years. This is the context in which the global pandemic hit us.”

-Mariel Boyarsky, MPH ‘15, UW Department of Global Health, DGH, emergency room nurse, Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York

Don Garvey at desk
Don Garvey

“I retired from 3M at the end of 2018. This past March, 3M called and asked if I would be willing to come back to work on their #COVID19 technical help line. I provide technical assistance 10 hours each day to people in the United States and globally regarding 3M respiratory products and other PPE...Many of the calls have been from Washington state, and while the reason for the calls is tragic, they do bring back good memories of my time in Seattle and at the University of Washington.”⁠ ⁠

-Don Garvey, MSPH ‘82, UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, retired 3M construction safety and health technical specialist⁠

Emily Brown typing on laptop
Emily Brown

"In these uncertain times, I’ve wondered how I can contribute to good. As the coronavirus situation developed, I was inspired to write... Not to make light of the situation, but to have a different angle on the story. I hope [my pieces] bring a little lightheartedness and inspire creativity."⁠

-Emily Brown, MPH '18, UW MPH Program in Health Services⁠ ⁠ Emily currently works as a public health sciences project coordinator and freelance editor.