Courtney Rees is a second-year student in the Health Services Research doctoral program. Recently she was named one of six 2008-09 Magnuson Scholars (one for each Health Sciences School). As an award recipient, she will receive $30,000 to support her studies and research.
Courtney is building a research career that she hopes will influence the welfare of persons with chronic conditions such as diabetes. Her dissertation research is focused on how racial/ethnic differences may influence diabetic complications. Working with Dr. Bessie Young at the Veterans Administration, Courtney is analyzing data from veterans in the Pacific Northwest who were surveyed about their health status and their experiences of discrimination, both in the health care setting and in other environments. As part of her analysis, she is also examining how interpersonal interactions within the health care system may influence health outcomes. Courtney is also analyzing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to determine if race/ethnicity and social support are associated with self-care behaviors and diabetes outcomes.
After completing her doctoral studies, Courtney plans to pursue a career in health services research. She says, "I hope to provide some understanding into the social causes and mechanisms of racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care, rather than to simply report on differences. In addition, I hope to find areas for intervention and policy attention." She adds, "My passion for this research comes from my family background. I am the youngest of five children, and my oldest two siblings are adopted and African American, so race has always been a part of my life and an area of interest."
In her spare time, Courtney volunteers as a tutor for an elementary student and plays on a few recreational soccer teams in the Seattle area.