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Profiles in Public Health

Profile

Noble K. Salwan

MPH, Behavioral Health/Epidemiology

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

Public health is a method of preventing diseases and infections from occurring, improving the quality of life, and working with racial disparities at a population level rather than an individual scope.

2.       What inspired you to study public health?

By helping with changing a policy or coming up with a way to prevent a specific disease, not only am I able to improve the quality of health for the public but I am able to affect far more people than ever imaginable because of the population health aspect that public health brings to the table.

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

The single most rewarding experience is being able to assist in decreasing the prevalence of MRSA in children of the STL area. Being able to inform families about proper hygiene measures and providing them with the proper treatment needed to decolonize is very rewarding because in them practicing those techniques they are helping themselves and those around them in eliminating infection. I enjoy hearing that their 2-year-old has stopped getting infections because I know whatever I am doing is helping in some way, shape, or form.

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

Be open minded and do not limit yourself, and take initiative. Some opportunities may fall in your lap without you knowing it.

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

Awareness of public health in general. I think the general population has very limited knowledge about what public health is and what it does for them. I think our job as public health professionals is really to inform the public on how essential and vital public health is in our day to day lives.