Leo Wackler, MPH

University of Virginia MPH Program
Health Policy, Law and Ethics

What inspired you to study public health?

I was inspired to study public health by my time working in Emergency Medical Services. Although I found the work very gratifying, I was also very frustrated to see the same few problems rear their heads over and over again, especially when it seemed to me that those problems could be easily addressed with appropriate public health intervention.

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

Getting to see the impact that my work and research has had on people and how grateful they are for it has definitely been the most rewarding experience I have had so far.

Where did you do your practicum? What was it about?

I worked with the MAPP program in Charlottesville doing some basic work with the community and presenting and moderating a progress meeting with community input.

What do you hope to accomplish in your career?

I want to address systems that are in place and change them in ways to make our health system more equitable. I’m specifically interested in the idea of utilizing paramedics and first responders to work in public health (Community Paramedicine).


First hand experience with all types of public health work is essential. Absolutely make sure that you are getting out there and doing all different types of public health work, not only so you can see what you like to do, but also so that you can determine what areas need the most attention.

Current Position June 2023:

Advanced EMT at the University of Virginia Health System

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