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Profiles in Public Health

Profile

Azka Khawaja

MPH, Health Administration & Policy

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

Public health is essential to preventing disease and injury, protecting populations, and invigorating people to lead healthy lives through research, policy, and health behavior strategies which is something I am proud to be a part of.

2.       What inspired you to study public health?

Growing up in a vulnerable population with many health disparities pushed me to take action at the forefront and help create opportunities at the population level through public health improvement.

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

The most rewarding experience was when I had the opportunity to work with the Honduras community to help build a free clinic as well as multiple water pumps which created access for thousands of people. With the help of the locals, the team and I had the ability to work with the community in education of disease prevention and tools to live healthier lives.

4.       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 a setback is never a bad experience, just another one of life’s lessons. Public health is such a broad area and any individual can really utilize this in a career.

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

I think one of the biggest challenges that the public health field should focus on is within the social determinants of health. Where you live, truly matters in the tools and resources you have accessible in order to live a healthy lifestyle.