Why did you decide to major in PH-GH as an undergraduate?
I decided to major in Public Health-Global Health because I loved how the degree was so versatile and allowed me to explore the many factors that influence health at the individual, community and population level. Public health stood out to me because it strives to answer the tough questions we have about health, such as: why disparities exist and affect populations differently, why mortality is changing, and what is the impact of policies and interventions on health and well-being. I was blown away by the work that can be done to identify, understand and address the underlying causes of health problems, and how that can lead to more sustainable solutions.
What’s your current job and how does it relate to public health?
I currently work as a data extraction analyst for the IHME. My work more specifically focuses on extracting, formatting and analyzing data relating to reproductive, genitourinary and digestive diseases for the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study. The data I work with relates to public health because it can be translated to practice and policy in order to address population-level barriers to health around the world!
What is something you learned from studying public health that has been useful to you since graduating?
The best thing I learned from studying public health was systems thinking. Systems thinking is a way to conceptualize the various factors that influence health on multiple levels. Coming into this field, I had no idea what systems thinking was, but I soon realized how important it can be in helping us understand how public health issues come to be. Systems thinking helped me gain a more comprehensive understanding of ways to improve health and reduce health disparities.
What is something you wish the general population knew about public health that might not be talked about?
I wish more people were aware of the social determinants of health, such as racism, income, geography, etc., and how they have a major impact on health status, especially in vulnerable or disadvantaged communities. I think COVID-19 has helped to bring attention to the health disparities in our society, but much more work still needs to be done. The pandemic exposed the inequities that exist in our healthcare system, and has highlighted the need for more effective interventions.
What impact do you hope to have on the public health of your communities?
I hope to contribute my skills and knowledge to make data more accessible and understandable to help policy and decision makers make the most informed and equitable decisions for our communities.
What advice do you have for public health students entering the workforce?
I would encourage current students to take advantage of every opportunity that brings exposure to the public health field, even if it isn’t exactly what they may have in mind. There are many career paths one can have in public health, and it’s just a matter of finding a sub-field that aligns with your interests!
This profile is part of a series celebrating the 10th Anniversary of our Public Health-Global Health Major.More from the series »