Witnessing Loss of Life Due to Failure to Understand Patient Needs
Growing up in rural Grenada, I realized the continuous challenges that persisted in the health care sector. I have seen first-hand the continuous cycle of ineffective or absent of healthcare policies, compounded by lack of access to preventative care, services and education. To many times, I have witnessed the loss of life due to inabilities in understanding patient’s health needs and the inability to engage in healthy behaviors. Recent years and personal events have only cemented my ambitions.
I vividly remember that phone call with the words “Your mom is suffering from diabetes, hypertension and had a stroke”. Throughout these experiences I have seen the unfortunate consequences of not having quality care and the impact the lack of health education had on my family. While many individuals and families suffer from financial burdens, our family was most affected emotionally, mentally and physically thus, making my knowledge and skills in public health a vital role in my mother’s healing process. Ultimately, it was my experience with my mother during her health emergency, that left the indelible mark on me and influenced my decision to pursue a PhD in Public Health Education.
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I am attracted to public health because of its diversity. I have observed and experienced both the academic and practical aspect of Public Health. Each of these aspects are different but are equally important in addressing current public health issues. While pursing my undergraduate and graduate degree and working at in the US, I volunteered during the summer with Aprestoute Youth Arm Organization. This position provided me with a wonderful opportunity to use my knowledge and skills in a practical manner. Evidence of my ability to helping people and communities become healthy can be found in my initiation of an annual health fair for ten local communities with officials from the ministry of health. I developed and initiated health promotion/disease prevention activities, in collaboration with coordinating and assembling educational tools for use at the health events. I have seen the impact that these health events and educational materials that I was instrumental in creating have on individuals and the positive health outcomes in the communities.
Since my time in the US, I have continued to participate in health care projects in the underserved communities. During the summer of 2010, I worked as an intern at Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center. During my time there I conducted research on grants related to diseases highly affecting that population. Most significantly, I created the first database for all current employees, current donors, and potential donors. Also, in 2014, I worked as a research analyst with Vanderbilt Institute of Medicine & Public Health serving the underserved community. During this capacity, I actively engage with the underserved population and community members regarding men’s health. I was able to successfully create materials for the Men’s Health Report Card & Toolkit. With each experience, I gained a deeper understanding of the importance and need for health education and promotion and the difference it made in the community.
My previous and current work experience at Vanderbilt has introduced me to the academic side of research in public health, giving me the chance to work with a diverse group of leading researchers. As Clinical Trial Associate, I worked on a mobile health intervention for diabetes self-care support in low income minority communities. The program attempted to determine if family-focused content delivered to the patient can improve the patients’ family support for diabetes self-care, self-efficacy, and adherence to diet and exercise recommendations. This position provided me with a greater understanding of research and allowed me to contribute in a variety of ways. Most importantly, I worked on recruitment, data collection and analysis to increase department efficiency. In addition, I served on different teams which I was responsible for editing and formatting manuscripts for submission. Along with my duties at Vanderbilt, I participated in training sessions, seminars, and meet with other researchers and public health leaders.
My academic goal is too successful complete the PhD program, and to be given the opportunity to work with well-known people in their fields of interest and of involvement that extend beyond the classroom. I want to pursue a PhD in Health Education at the University of Cincinnati because I will focus on combining academic studies with hands on experience, and I believe that the department of Applied Studies offer extraordinary opportunities for these endeavors. The interdisciplinary approach of the program appeals to me greatly as I believe interdisciplinary approaches are the most effective way to develop meaningful solutions to complex problems. I would be particularly interested in assisting in research relating to physical activity, diet, exercise, and minority health. Further, I wish to work with Dr. Liliana Guyler and Dr. Bradley Wilson in particular, as they have done intensive work in areas of my interest.
I can promise very enthusiastic, devoted and diligent participation in the program and look forward to sharing insights that I have gained in my professional life and in benefiting from those of my fellow students. After completion of the program it would be my greatest satisfaction to be a creative leader for one of the leading global non-profit. Additionally, earning this degree will be vital for my future career as a public health official that will allow me to integrate some methods of the U.S health administration with Grenada’s realities. I will be able to make a meaningful contribute in transforming Grenada’s existing health system.