[Photo: New American Public Health Association fellowship winners Ms. Kathryn Mishkin and Mr. Wayne Lawrence.]
The already evident outstanding leadership, scholarship and commitment to maternal and child health of two University at Albany School of Public Health doctoral candidates has earned them a unique opportunity to apply their skills in a real-world setting.
Ms. Kathryn Mishkin and Mr. Wayne Lawrence have been selected as 2017 – 18 fellows for the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) maternal and child health (MCH) section.
SPH interim dean Dr. Laura Schweitzer said that the duo will benefit greatly from the guidance and training provided by their fellowships. “These opportunities are structured to provide significant work experience, and fellows often assume responsibilities to become fully immersed in their field,” she said. “We are so pleased that two of our students were selected for this prestigious honor and wish Kate and Wayne the best as they embark on this journey.”
At a national level, the new fellows will take an active part in MCH section activities. Each will be matched with a public health mentor in the MCH field. They will also attend the APHA annual meeting in Atlanta, Ga, November 4 – 7.
At the meeting conference, Mr. Lawrence, who is pursuing his doctorate in epidemiology and biostatistics, will present the findings of a team study led by Dr. Shao Lin of environmental health sciences in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the department of preventive medicine at Sun Yat-sen University in China. The project is investigating whether wind chill temperature or temperature only is a better predictor for cold-related cardiovascular disease emergency department visits in winter and winter transition months.
In addition, Mr. Lawrence, who is also a Presidential Doctoral Fellow through UAlbany’s Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities, will discuss the potential interactive affects between cold weather factors with demographics on cardiovascular disease emergency department visits.
Ms. Kathryn (Kate) Mishkin, currently pursuing her UAlbany Doctor of Public Health degree in health policy, management & behavior, has more than eight years of public health and international development experience, working and living in the United States, Morocco, Indonesia, Cameroon, Ethiopia, China, and Bulgaria.
Since starting her doctoral program, Ms. Mishkin has worked on a New York Department of Health project team to support the analysis of maternal mortality in the state, with a focus on the subgroup of women with mental illness. Most recently, she joined the team at UAlbany’s Global Institute for Health and Human Rights, researching such issues as gender differences in AIDS-related deaths in Tajikistan, opioid relapses in Turkey, and maternal mental illness in Iraq.
Passionate not only about maternal and child health but also women’s empowerment and rights, Ms. Mishkin in addition is pursuing a UAlbany Certificate in Women and Public Policy.
Mr. Lawrence’s research lies primarily in the fields of perinatal (22 weeks of gestation to 1-week old) epidemiology and minority health. Before his current work on prenatal environmental exposures on future cardiovascular disease risk, his research centered on improving our understanding of the causes of disease (etio-pathogenesis) due to pediatric health disparities.
His overarching goal is to link biological and societal factors to develop a greater comprehension of the mechanism driving racial disparities in birth outcomes and to work at the policy level to promote evidence-based policies that effectively address maternal and child health inequities in healthcare delivery and eliminate disparities in health outcomes.
At the university level, Ms. Mishkin and Mr. Lawrence are actively engaged in SPH’s maternal and child health program, created through a training grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It allows for the creation of additional coursework in maternal and child health, a brown-bag seminar series, support for student and faculty travel to conferences, funding for student internships, and a student interest group that is open to all UAlbany students.