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Profiles in Public Health

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Ghenet Besera

MPH, Global Health

ASPPH/CDC Public Health Fellowship

Atlanta, GA

1.     In one sentence, what is public health to you?

Public health is promoting and protecting the health of populations around the world.

2.    What inspired you to apply for an ASPPH fellowship program?

I was inspired to apply for an ASPPH fellowship after graduation, I wanted to further develop my research and leadership skills so that I could be a more effective public health professional. I thought an ASPPH fellowship would be the perfect opportunity to do so because I would receive mentorship and training from some of the top public health leaders at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has always been a professional goal of mine to do work at CDC, so I am extremely grateful for this experience.

3.    What major project have you had an opportunity to work on during your ASPPH fellowship?

I have had the opportunity to work on a number of major projects during my ASPPH fellowship. One major activity I am involved in is that I contribute to the annual CDC Vital Signs on teen pregnancy, which includes a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Early Release, a graphic fact sheet and website, a media release, and social media tools. In 2015, I co-authored the MMWR article and in 2014, I led the revision of the fact sheet.

4.     What has been the most rewarding experience during your ASPPH fellowship so far?

The opportunity to work with and learn from my mentors and other colleagues in the Division of Reproductive Health at CDC has been a very rewarding experience. In addition, some of my projects, such as the different Vital Signs on teen pregnancy, received media coverage and provided information on important public health topics.

5.     What is the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you were starting out in public health?

As a student, actively seek out different opportunities to develop your skills outside of the classroom.

6.    What do you think is the biggest challenge that the public health field should be focusing on?

I think one of the biggest challenges is closing the gap on health disparities.

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