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Profiles in Public Health

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Katelynn Dodd

MPH, Epidemiology

ASPPH/CDC Public Health Fellowship

Morgantown, West Virginia

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

Public health is the identification and prevention of adverse health behaviors and outcomes within a population with a broad, systems-based perspective.

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

The ASPPH fellowship program offered me the opportunity to work in a position that challenged my particular skill set, and also allowed me to become proficient in many new areas of public health.

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

I have been working as a BRFSS Data Analyst in the Respiratory Health Division at the National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health. My research focuses on assessing work-related asthma using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Asthma Call-back Survey. In particular, I assessed how certain methodology changes to the Asthma Call-back Survey affected the estimated proportion of work-related asthma. I also evaluated the agreement between two asthma classification methods, current and active asthma.

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

The most rewarding experience during my ASPPH fellowship has been transitioning into a role where fellow colleagues have begun seeking advice and expertise from me regarding topics within my area of research.

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

One piece of advice I wish someone had given me when starting out in public health is that it’s good to have a plan, but sometimes, through exploration and an open mind, many new and exciting pathways open up, and it’s ok to deviate from that plan as you find your true passion.

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

Although, the public health field is faced with numerous challenges, I believe addressing health literacy among our leaders and communities will aid in achieving progress among many of the most important public health topics.

 

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