In one sentence, what is public health to you?
Public health protects and improves individual, family, community, and population health and well-being through rigorous science and advocacy.
What inspired you to study public health?
I began my public health journey as a clinical research coordinator and I saw how my work impacted individuals and populations. Engaging with Medicare beneficiaries, I saw firsthand how state and federal health reforms can dictate where and from whom patients received their care. On a population level, I saw legislations passed that led to greater individual choice and voice for aging adults living in their communities. I was inspired to be in the field of public health because it affords me the practical frameworks and tools to build a foundation of evidence through research and to promote that evidence through advocacy to improve population health and well-being.
What has been the single most rewarding experience of your career/studies so far?
The opportunity to engage in the collaborative research process from asking a public health question of interest to publishing my work in a peer-reviewed journal.
Don’t be afraid to ask the simple questions, they often lead to more important questions. Be inquisitive.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that the public health field should be focusing on?
Public health should stand for equity and justice in improving population health and well-being through science and advocacy. Addressing embedded, systemic racial and socioeconomic disparities is an important agenda that the field of public health should focus on.