For the past three years, the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice (JPHMP) has featured students rocking public health on its companion website, JPHMP Direct in a popular ongoing series of the same name with a year-end review of a final group of students whose projects tackled some of the most pressing public health challenges of the year. Nominations are currently being accepted from deans, faculty, advisors, mentors, and classmates with information about students who have made great contributions to advance population health in 2019.
JPHMP is thrilled to announce this list of Students Who Rocked Public Health in 2019 (appearing alphabetically):
- Ms. Jennifer (Jen) Bender (MPH ’21) – Des Moines University. OPIOID AND VAPING FORUM PROVIDED FOR COMMUNITY EDUCATION BY LOCAL EXPERTS. Ms. Bender, MPH student at Des Moines University helped lead a collaboration between her hospital employer, Human Service Agency, and Boys & Girls Club to provide community education on drug misuse. The forum included a vaping presentation by a pulmonologist, a testimonial on recovery from an opioid substance misuse disorder, and a Q&A session with a panel of local experts, including a drug court judge, pain therapy specialist, law enforcement, pharmacist, and mental health counselors. Learn more: Two Truths & A Lie (Vaping and Opioids) event on Facebook
- Mr. Debjyoti Datta (MPH ’20) and Ms. Shivani Rathi (MPH ’20) – Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. MOUNT SINAI’S GLOBAL SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROJECT WITH TRANSGENDERS IN INDIA. Under the guidance of Dr. Jan-Schuetz-Muller, team leaders Mr. Datta and Ms. Rathi worked with the ‘hijra’ community in Gujarat India to evaluate their knowledge on mental health and their accessibility to care. They also determined the changes within and without the transgender community, pre-and-post the 2014 National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) judgement, giving them basic civil rights. A short film based on the personal narratives of the ‘Hijras’ showcases their struggles and the resilience to overcome all odds.
- Ms. Lauren Hunter (PhD ’21) – University of California, Berkeley. DOCTORAL STUDENT DESIGNS PRIVATE DRUG SHOPS TO REACH YOUNG WOMEN WITH HEALTH SERVICES. Guided by Drs. Sandra McCoy and Jenny Liu, Ms. Hunter’s research focused on how adolescent girls and young women could access sexual and reproductive health services at private drug shops in Tanzania. She led an innovative design process in collaboration with U.S.- and Tanzania-based researchers to create a girl-friendly loyalty program, the “Queen Club,” through which young women can earn mystery prizes during visits to drug shops and can discreetly request health products, such as HIV self-test kits, condoms, and oral contraception, by pointing to symbols on the back of the loyalty card. She evaluated the intervention through a randomized trial in 20 drug shops, finding substantially higher distribution of HIV self-testing and contraception to young women at intervention shops.
- Ms. Kyungha (Katie) Kim (DrPH ’21) – Penn State College of Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences. DOCTORAL STUDENT INVESTIGATES EFFECTS OF MEDICAL CANNABIS LEGALIZATION ON OPIOID-RELATED BEHAVIORS. The opioid crisis is a serious public health issue in the United States, and opioid overdose is one of the main drivers of all accidental deaths. As an effort to identify strategies for effectively addressing this epidemic, Ms. Kyungha (Katie) Kim, a Doctor of Public Health candidate at Penn State College of Medicine, is exploring populations at high risk for opioid overdose and options for preventing opioid-related problems through alternative medications for management of severe pain. See also: Dr. Douglas Leslie.
- Ms. Sonia Lazreg (MPH ’20) – Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. DIABETIC AND HYPERTENSIVE PREGNANCY COMPLICATIONS AMONG NATIVE AMERICANS IN ZUNI, NEW MEXICO. Graduate student Sonia Lazreg collaborated with providers, the Zuni Tribal Council, and the Zuni Comprehensive Community Health Center Hospital Executive Committee to perform a retroactive chart review and calculate rates of diabetic and hypertensive pregnancy complications among the community Native American women served. This contribution promotes greater representation of this underserved population within the trend of increasing pregnancy complications in the US and is the basis of developing interventions to decrease disparities and preventable disease.
- Ms. Bernadette Lim – (MS/MD ’22) – Joint Medical Program with UC Berkeley School of Public Health and UCSF School of Medicine. MEDICAL STUDENT BRINGS HOLISTIC HEALING TO COMMUNITIES OF COLOR. Bernadette Lim founded the Freedom Community Clinic serving 300+ underserved people of color who live in the Bay Area. Clinics and workshops combine holistic healing methods such as yoga, acupuncture, and group counseling with primary care services for free and at sliding scale. Specialized clinics are also held for communities such as Womxn of Color, Asylum-Seeking Refugees, and Black folks to create safe spaces of community healing. Learn More: Freedom School for Intersectional Medicine, Woke WOC Docs, The Pollination Project, Oakland Youth Impact Hub
- Dr. Aubrey Massman (DO ’21/MPH ’23) – Des Moines University. MEDICAL STUDENT CONTRIBUTES TO FEDERAL CLIMATE CHANGE AND HEALTH RESEARCH. While working with the United States Global Change Research Program, Ms. Massman worked on a team to analyze health outcome indicators related to climate change, creating a catalogue of indicators for public and agency use. She also assisted in the creation of the Climate and Health Monitoring Outlook, a forecasting tool utilizing sophisticated predictive modeling to anticipate changes in the incidence of climate-sensitive infectious diseases using seasonal weather data. She continues to work on these projects as they take shape within the agency.
- Ms. Pooja Sangha (BS ’19) – Arizona State University. TRENDS IN ARIZONA SCHOOL-LEVEL VACCINATION RATES FROM 2015 TO 2018. Under the direction of Dr. Mac McCullough, Ms. Sangha evaluated Arizona school-level vaccination data from 2015 to 2018. This analysis identified upward trends in vaccine exemption rates and downward trends in herd immunity statewide. More specifically, these results demonstrate an increased rate of personal belief exemptions and decreased herd immunity across all school types (public, private, and charter). This research may have several policy implications, especially for states permitting multiple vaccine exemption types.
- Ms. Jaimee Lee Watts (DNP ’20 and MPH ’21) – University of North Carolina at Greensboro. DOCTORAL NURSING STUDENT GOES TO THE SOURCE TO UNDERSTAND PHN RETENTION NEEDS IN HER STATE. Dr. Watts is collaborating with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health to complete the first phase of a multiphase project to identify and address issues surrounding retention and recruitment of public health nurses (PHNs) in NC local public health departments. With an advisory panel of practice and academic nursing experts, she was able to initiate an extensive statewide survey of frontline nurses and collect information related to retention and job satisfaction.
Stay tuned for in-depth profiles of each winning project throughout 2020. More information.