What are you currently doing?
I just finished my Master of Public Health degree at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where I focused on Social & Behavioral Sciences and Community-Based Public Health.
How did NHCM prepare you for your current role or life after graduation?
I was fortunate to be able to use both my clinical and healthcare management backgrounds in my role after graduation. I worked for 7 years as a RN in Quality Improvement at a tertiary care medical center in San Francisco, CA. The clinical experience allowed me to act as an internal quality consultant within the medical center, working with multidisciplinary clinical quality teams to improve patient care and outcomes. The healthcare management experience allowed me to be an effective member of the medical center’s management team, collaborate with community-based organizations and departments of public health, and work with diverse stakeholders in achieving a shared goal.
What was your favorite aspect of the NHCM program?
I really enjoyed learning two complete different skill sets that challenged me in a unique way at Penn. It prepared me to contribute successfully in an increasingly diversifying industry that requires a blend of clinical and management principles.
What were you involved in as a student at Penn?
I was part of the co-ed business fraternity, Phi Gamma Nu.
What do you think you’ll be doing five years from now?
I would like to be working in a domestic health role that utilizes my nursing, healthcare management, and now public health, backgrounds. During my time as a RN in Quality Improvement, I worked on improving patient care within the four walls of our medical center. I noticed severe health inequity outside of the medical center, where after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in healthcare costs, patients would be discharged home without any support to manage their health. To truly allow a person the best possible opportunity to succeed in their care management, we need to consider social, environmental, and structural determinants of health as well. Biomedical metrics are just one part of the puzzle. For example, how can we tackle obesity as an epidemic if certain neighborhoods are plagued with food deserts? Or how can we prevent the spread of communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS if there is cultural stigma in accessing HIV testing, PrEP, and antiretrovirals? I hope to apply my background in behavioral and structural variants of health and hope to work across disciplines (such as policy, law enforcement, and even urban planning) to promote health equity for all citizens. Taking a multidisciplinary approach to health care is essential in creating sustainable and healthy societies for the generations to come.