Profiles in Public Health


Joanne Amposta

MPH, Behavioral Sciences and Health Education

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

Public Health is a collaborative field in which people of all disciplines may use their skills and talents to improve and health and well-being within and across populations.

2. What inspired you to study public health?

I was inspired to study public health after completing the requirements for a Medicine and Society Minor during my undergraduate years. I chose to take courses that focused on health and how it related to literature, culture, and geography. I found these courses to be deeply fascinating, and I began to have a more holistic perspective of health.

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

One of my most rewarding experiences in my career was when I presented the culminating experiences of my internship with Worksite Wellness at the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH). My internship allowed me to develop a program guide, collect data on fitness and nutrition challenges, and manage an ergonomic and work safety program for public health employees. My audience consisted of GDPH personnel and students that were interested in the field of public health. I am thankful for the opportunity to present for this event because I believe the presentations inspired prospective students became interested in pursuing internships with the Georgia Department of Public Health. Additionally, this event allowed me to network and develop connections with GDPH personnel that I have not met before.

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

I would advise future public health professionals to not only focus on their learning interests, but also focus on their talents and personality. Public health is a multidisciplinary field, and it takes professional exploration, personal exploration, and patience to establish your public health interests and your best fit in the field.

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

One of the biggest challenges that we should focus on is raising awareness of the public health field. Additionally, I think that it is our responsibility as public health professionals to ensure that everyone knows that there is range of public health disciplines (i.e. health education, epidemiology, biostatistics, etc.)  and topics (i.e. chronic disease, sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health, etc.) that people may be interested in. Everyone may become involved and feel responsible for the health and well-being of others.

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