Abdullah Shihipar

Abdullah Shihipar, MPH

Brown University School of Public Health
Generalist Focus on Harm Reduction

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

So far, it’s been the ability to do research while working on my MPH. Prior to starting my degree, I had already done a lot of community activism and writing; being introduced to the world of research has allowed me to better complement the skills I already have.

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

There are many public health challenges we face; I am mostly interested in overdose prevention as well as the harmful effects present immigration policies have on the health of families and children in the United States. There are so many problems in the United States that ultimately could be tied back to public health, though I find sometimes we have a narrow conception and imagination about what public health entails. The more we think broadly about public health, the more effective we can be at coming up with solutions.  I think the focus needs to be on fusing research and community organizing principles to work with communities in America on how to address some of these problems; rather than top down “expert” driven solutions.  If we give people the data and research and work with them on how to organize around the issue, we will find it easier to get more people – across fields and communities – to adopt the idea.