Public Health

Jewish Healthcare Foundation and Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative: Pittsburgh, PA

Research Intern, June-August 2014

Selected through a competitive interview process to join the Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s paid 10-week internship program. Assigned to write a report of a recently completed grant, the Minority AIDS Initiative, an intervention shown by the JHF and its partners to successfully re-engage people living with HIV/AIDS who have been lost to care for more than 180 days. JHF will distribute the report to other regional health agencies or AIDS Service Organizations interested in implementing the intervention.

Outcomes and Achievements:

  • Applied investigative skills honed through historical research to public health research. Analyzed and synthesized qualitative and quantitative data. For example: Analyzed and synthesized feedback from participating agencies to understand the daily workflow of the grant-sponsored Community Outreach Specialists; evaluated this feedback to determine major barriers to success for the grant and to identify innovations that successfully re-engaged lost-to-care patients; collaborated with a biostatistician and reviewed statistical analyses of the project’s quantitative outcomes and selected figures to convey the achievements of the intervention to a general audience.
  • Gained valuable experience writing for a non-scholarly audience. Wrote a 17-page draft of the Minority AIDS Initiative Model Paper focused on: Implementation of the intervention, the role of the Community Outreach Specialists, data collection and evaluation strategies, outcomes of the intervention, and recommendations for future adopters of the intervention.
  • Received training in two proven methodologies for improving healthcare outcomes. Certified in Perfecting Patient Care, a healthcare process improvement methodology, and in Motivational Interviewing, an approach for eliciting behavioral changes in patients that can increase their engagement in their own health care. Also expanded knowledge about how healthcare systems function, especially the specialized subsystem of American AIDS/Ryan White policies, infrastructure, and services.

 

Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University: New York, NY

Administrative Assistant, Department of Epidemiology, September 2009-June 2011

Provided administrative support to three faculty members and the administrator in the Division of Community Collaboration and Implementation Science, within the Department of Epidemiology. Division research aimed to advance the understanding of public health intervention and practice through rigorous evaluation research and model development.

Outcomes and Achievements:

  • Developed a comprehensive understanding of grant mechanisms and grant programs, especially those of the National Institute of Health (NIH) and private foundations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation and American Cancer Society.
  • Maintained protocol-related literature databases in EndNote and Reference Manager and generated bibliographies for grant submission and for publications of research findings in peer-reviewed academic journals.  
  • Conducted extensive searches of public health and community psychology publications for use in literature reviews. Research supported the development of community-based cancer prevention protocols and grant proposals, including a funded NIH grant entitled “Improving Cervical Cancer Knowledge and Outcomes in Young Women in the Bronx through Participatory Research.”
  • Provided administrative support and coordinated stakeholder meetings for a community-based pilot project, “The Mental Health and Cancer Connection Partnership Project,” which brought partner organizations together to formulate a strategy for integrating cancer screenings into community-based mental health services.

Research Intern, Queens Library Healthlink Project, January-August 2009

Conducted canvassing interviews to gauge the efficacy of a community-based participatory research project that aimed to increase early-stage cancer detection. Visited twenty ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the borough of Queens and engaged neighborhood residents in conversations about their health literacy, healthcare usage, and personal experiences with cancer screenings and cancer patient services.

Outcomes and Achievements:

  • Observed the extent of health disparities in urban immigrant and minority communities. Discussed barriers to accessing healthcare—including medical mistrust, citizenship status, misinformation about health conditions and services, and lack of health insurance—with residents of varied ages, races, and nationalities.
  •  Conducted Spanish-language interviews with Latino participants. Attained proficiency in Spanish medical vocabulary.
  • Promoted to paid supervisory position. Guided new interns through initial interviews and assisted with difficult interview participants. Served as on-site contact during field visits.