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Profiles in Public Health

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Madison Snitker

MPH, Community and Behavioral Health, University of Iowa College of Public Health

In one sentence, what is public health to you?

Public health is the effort to improve and protect the health of all people to ensure they have the knowledge and tools to live their healthiest lives.

What inspired you to study public health?

I was inspired to study public health because of how encompassing the field is. Every part of our lives is touched by public health and I love that I can create healthier lives for people on a population level.

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

The most rewarding experience of my educational experience so far has been volunteering my time with my local county public health department to survey a sample of the county’s population through a CASPER assessment for the Community Health Needs Assessment. Through this, I had the opportunity to speak with members of the county to determine what needs they have for accessing health services. Speaking with members of the public and gathering the data to determine future programming was a valuable experience that gave me true insight on the care that public health officials carry for their communities.

Advice:

Explore all the areas of public health through diverse professional experiences like volunteering and internships. I found my interests in public health through exploring different public health roles in communities. I love that I was able to experience so many ways public health is involved in the community.

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

I think that the biggest challenge that public health should be focused on is access to care. While that is a very broad challenge, there are so many underlying challenges that contributes to the issue that can positively affect other areas of the population’s health. Access to care is one of the most concerning issues for many individuals when they think about their health. N

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