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Profiles in Public Health

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Oreoluwa Otubanjo

MPH, Environmental Health

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

Public health is making a difference by improving the health of the community as awhole through the application of preventive measures.

2. What inspired you to study to public health?

I became interested in public health while I was doing my internship at the Medical Center of Plano during my undergraduate studies. Being able to serve others while performing daily wellness screenings at schools, hospitals, and health fairs made me develop a passion for the field.

3. What has been the single most rewarding experience of your career/studies so far?

The most rewarding experience of my career/studies so far is developing a food safety program during my practice experience, which has now been implemented and is being utilized by the food vendors at my institution. Another rewarding experience is being the secretary for the Public Health Student Government Association, and working as a graduate student assistant for my institution. This has given me opportunities to serve others as well as meet and interact with people from different cultures.

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

Public health requires understanding the community, being patient, open-minded, and loving what you do. It is a very broad field with constant changes and challenges, but having the opportunity to serve others and make a change is a very rewarding experience. I wish someone would have told me the various opportunities that the field of public health has to offer. It is a growing field with diverse group of people and great opportunities.

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

One of the biggest challenges that public health professionals deal with is health communication. Public health professionals often struggle with communicating with the general public, which leads to their needs, values, and ideas not being met or considered. This is often due to the fact that there are constant changes in the communication channels and an increase in the use of technology. Public health professionals should focus on initiatives that will communicate health information to the general public effectively by considering their health literacy, culture, and diversity.

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