Puja Shah, MPH

University of Northern Colorado

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

This past semester, I took a geographic information systems (GIS) course and for my final project, my partner and I looked at disparities within EMS care between Rural, Frontier, and Urban Colorado. We looked at the differences between the time it took to arrive to an accident based off of urbanicity, we looked at emergency funding allocation throughout the state, and stratified the accident data by age as well. We had the opportunity to present our project to the EMTS branch at the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment and it was really neat to be able to present our findings.

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

I think that strengthening inter-professional collaboration and data dissemination is super important. Public health encompasses everything yet usually when people think of public health, they primarily think of hospitals or health departments. By forging relationships with other agencies such as departments focusing on transportation and looking at upstream factors such as food insecurity, I think that we can create research, policies, and programs that better holistically address the factors that contribute to health. Additionally, I think clear and easy to understand data dissemination is important – to both policy makers and the general public – as it may help generate support for public health issues.