“It’s probably the most impactful program experience in terms of supporting and informing students’ career trajectories while making real-world strides to improving population health and health care.”
Applied Practice Experience Poster Fair Returns to In-Person Event
For the first time in three years, The Dartmouth Institute hosted an in-person poster fair for the 2023 MPH candidates in the Online/On-Campus Hybrid program who are completing the Applied Practice Experience (APE) component of their coursework. With research completed in partnership with a range of organizations, including Birthmark Doula Collective, AIDS Care Group, Cass Lake Indian Health Service, Dartmouth Health Value Institute and more, the topics represented on student posters ranged from evaluating the social determinants of heart failure to the ways in which improving pet health influences human health and beyond.
As a required experiential learning component for MPH degree students, the Applied Practice Experience provides planned, guided opportunities for students to apply the knowledge and skills gained in public health coursework in a real-world public health, population health, or health-related settings.
The fair, held in the Class of 1953 Commons on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, provided the cohort of 37 students with the opportunity to visually showcase and discuss their research with attendees in a fashion that has not been possible since 2019, due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
The 2023 cohort - on campus for the fifth installment of six individual on-campus weeks that the program mandates - embraced the fair not only as an opportunity to come together with their classmates, but as a chance to reflect on the strengths of the two-year program.
For Gabrielle Pirruccio, being a Dartmouth MPH student while also working as an infection prevention registered nurse at the VA Medical Center in West Haven, CT means being able to apply what she learns in the online classroom to her on-the-ground work in a clinical setting each day.
“My eyes would not be opened to how much work has to be done without this program,” she said.
“I’ll be sitting in my TDI classes and I can identify the problems I’m focusing on at work. It’s very applicable.”
As an Emergency Department Technician at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Sage Lincoln used the APE component to explore ways in which sepsis care compliance could be improved in the emergency department and beyond.
“I feel like this program really helped prepare me for the research that I want to do further down the road,” she said.
The return of the poster fair after a three-year hiatus was a welcome celebration of students and their dedication to looking for data-supported solutions for healthcare issues through a public health lens.
"Every year I'm blown away by the quality of the students' posters, and the passion and expertise they exude during this opportunity to present their work," says Megan Read, MPH, Hybrid MPH Program Manager.
In speaking about the power of the APE component, Dr. Meghan Longacre, the Co-Course Director for the practicum series of courses at The Dartmouth Institute and a mentor to many students, highlighted the lasting effect that the experience has on students.
“The Applied Practice Experience (APE) is my favorite component of our MPH program because it allows our students to longitudinally get involved with ‘on-the-ground’ public health work,” she said.
“In my opinion it’s probably the most impactful program experience in terms of supporting and informing students’ career trajectories while making real-world strides to improving population health and health care.”
Written by Suzanne M. Shrekgast
Photographs by Mark Washburn
GET IN TOUCH
To arrange a media interview, please contact: