“Moving Public Health Forward in Challenging Times”



Hi there! I’m Michelle and I’m a second-year student in the Health Behavior Health Education (HBHE) program at the School of Public Health (SPH).  I was approached by the Office of Public Health Practice to become the newest addition to the student blogger team and I’m excited to share my experiences at SPH with you!

One of the best ways to get directly involved in the field of Public Health while you’re in your program at University of Michigan School of Public Health is to join the Public Health Action Support Team (PHAST). It’s on the Student “To Do” List for a very good reason! 😉 Because of my background in community service and in emergency preparedness through working at the American Red Cross, I was immediately drawn to this group. This last March, I went on spring break with PHAST to the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas, right along the US-Mexico border, and worked with the Cameron County Department of Health and Human Services to assess local practitioners’ perspectives about the risk of dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever in the valley. The team finished 15 qualitative interviews in about one week and came to some interesting conclusions about obstacles in the health care system and the education of health practitioners and the community.

Though I’m SUPER busy this summer with two internships at the Center for Managing Chronic Disease and the Cancer Support Community, this past week, I traveled to Hartford, CT, for the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Annual Conference. The conference’s theme was “Moving Public Health Forward in Challenging Times.” Along with Dana Thomas from the Office of Public Health Practice, Roman Abeyta, the Epidemiologist at Cameron County Health Dept., and Brian Davis, a fellow student and Epidemiology Ph.D. candidate, I presented our results from the study of dengue fever in February at a poster session.

Brian Davis, Me!, Roman Abeyta

The conference was overall a great opportunity to learn and network with public health professionals. I met some UMSPH HBHE Alumni too!

Roman and I speaking about our project, "Assessing Healthcare Providers’ Knowledge and Concern of Dengue Fever and Binational Health in the Rio Grande Valley, TX"

It’s amazing what joining PHAST did for me this past year! I went to Texas for the first time, met so many wonderful friends and contacts, and attended and presented at my first conference! Thanks to all involved!

Feel free to email me with questions/comments in case you don’t feel comfortable sharing them below. Hope you check out my posts again soon! 🙂

One thought on ““Moving Public Health Forward in Challenging Times”

  1. Pingback: Opportunities in State and Local Governmental Public Health w/ Alum Lisa VanRaemdonck « SPH Life – Student Blog

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