Amidst the Pandemic: Dartmouth MPH Practicums Promote Crucial Change in Public Health
The Class of 2021 in The Dartmouth Institute’s online/on-campus hybrid MPH program represents an exceptional group of healthcare leaders. They rose above the challenges of working through a global pandemic, while balancing full-time jobs and pursuing their degree, to successfully complete their field internships (Applied Practice Experience) for the program. Below, students share the impact their work has made on their professional goals and their ambitions for improving health and healthcare in their communities.
Organizational Correlates of Treatment Facilities Offering Detoxification Services
Jenna Murray’s practicum work uncovers new priorities for ensuring healthcare organizations are adequately meeting known needs of patients undergoing medical detoxification.
More than 20 million Americans struggle with alcohol and or drug addiction, yet less than 11 percent receive treatment. Murray’s project is the first to assess the organizational capabilities of facilities offering detoxification services, including access to social services to support long-term recovery, to determine the spectrum of services being offered.
Murray conducted a secondary data analysis of the 2018 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, which contained data from nearly 15,000 public and private treatment centers in the United States. Among her key findings, she noted that detoxification centers were 10 percent less likely to offer childcare, 50 percent less likely to accept sliding payment scales to make payments more affordable, and 20 percent less likely to accept Medicaid. These factors are barriers to making detoxification services more accessible and supporting a successful life in recovery, Murray says.
“My top takeaway from the project is that social inequality and systemic barriers in the United States healthcare system cannot be overcome by a person's desire for sobriety or recovery, no matter how strong it might be," says Murray, who is currently drafting a manuscript of her findings for publication. Murray says her applied practice experience solidified her interests in pursuing substance misuse research with an emphasis on social determinants of health. Her long-term goal is to obtain her PhD. Outside of her MPH studies, she is currently completing a two-year fellowship at the National Institute on Drug Abuse with the Native American program in the Epidemiology Research Branch.
Development of Statewide Cost Growth and Quality Benchmarks, and Primary Care Spending Targets in Connecticut
Jason Prignoli MPH'21
Healthcare Analytics for COVID-19 and Anchor Mission
Rebecca Brandes MPH'21
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