Helping to Launch a Global Initiative to Improve Health Outcomes for Women, Children, and Adolescents in Humanitarian and Health Fragile Settings
A culminating highlight of The Institute's on-campus Master of Public Health program is the opportunity for students to take what they've learned out into the field. Our internship profile series looks at how they've applied what they learned to their own interests in improving health and healthcare.
Jennifer Milbank MPH '19, who worked in cutting-edge experimental science at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany before Dartmouth, was looking to shift careers into nonprofit advocacy through her internship work. She sought out the International Center for Migration, Health, and Development (ICMHD) in Geneva, Switzerland, for professional and personal motivations. The center is a nonprofit research and policy center focused on advocating for the health and welfare of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
“I was drawn to ICMHD’s focus on a phenomenon I believe is rapidly growing in importance in our political and environmental climate of late,” Milbank says. “Not to mention, I am the granddaughter of two migrants who left their country for the U.S. in a time of unrest and went on to serve this country for a number of years before establishing their lives and family here.”
Milbank’s time at ICMHD was centered around the launch of the "Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health in Humanitarian and Health-fragile settings" initiative. The initiative is part of a long-term proposal between ICMHD and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Children’s Health (PMNCH) to address the health needs of millions of women and children living in conflict or displaced by humanitarian crises.
During her internship, Milbank worked closely with ICMHD’s colleagues and WHO collaborators to publish a call-to-action document and knowledge brief on the initiative. The documents were presented to a panel of humanitarian leaders, the WHO Director General, and the First Lady of Turkey at a high-level briefing event during the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 2019. The panel called on meeting participants to mobilize signatories toward next steps.
“It was incredible to listen to such a high-powered and diverse group of stakeholders make their cases for vulnerable populations on the move,” says Milbank who attended the event. “The proposed PMNCH platform for strengthening and facilitating coordination will not only prioritize these neglected groups but promote existing efforts in order to achieve WHO’s goal of Universal Health Coverage.”
"My internship was an invaluable opportunity for me to enhance my advocacy skills. I am extremely grateful to my mentor and preceptor, Dr. Manuel Carballo, ICMHD executive director, for his guidance and perspectives as both an internal and external actor at the World Health Organization."
- Jennifer Milbank MPH '19
POSTED 7/16/2019 AT 03:54 PM IN #internship
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