Public health to me is about breaking barriers in health communication and health promotion. If we can help people understand the severity of an issue by breaking through the cultural, interpersonal, educational and environmental barriers then we can succeed in our public health efforts.
I was inspired by my community in Harris County, Houston TX. I come from a community that is affected by various chronic diseases and our diet is a huge contributor to our ailment. Because of this, I decided to become an advocate for a healthier generation and lead by example.
My most rewarding experience thus far has been my summer internship in Trenton, NJ. I had the opportunity of really understanding the issues affecting the Trenton community and the barriers and challenges they faced in trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle. For instance, a significant amount of the population that visited the Henry J Austin health clinic where I was positioned, suffered from various chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. The neighborhood lacked safe bike lanes and recreational parks that would encourage regular exercise within the community, however with the help of a health team we were able to come up with alternative fitness options.
People are sometimes the most difficult to change, especially when they are set in their ways.
It’s really hard to decide on what is more challenging, but I would suggest physical activity and nutrition. Research indicates that staying physically active can help prevent or delay certain diseases, including some cancers, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as relieve depression and improve mood. The same also goes for our food intake. So, by promoting a healthier lifestyle, which focuses on physical activity and nutrition, we will be able to better manage our health outcomes.Find an Academic Program in Behavioral and Social Science, Health Policy and Management