Dartmouth Institute MPH Students on Why the Time is Now!
The incoming class of Dartmouth Institute MPH students come from diverse professional backgrounds—clinical social worker, nurse practitioner, policy advocate—but they share common beliefs and goals. They believe that despite an environment of uncertainty, it’s a great time to be working in health care. They believe that health and health care is about much more than drug treatments and doctor’s visits. And, they believe the time they spend at The Dartmouth Institute, the training and the peer network they will find here, will help them achieve their goals and effect change.
Logan Kelly, MPH'18
Professional background: Health care policy advocacy
It’s time to hone in on the areas of health care I’m most passionate about—and then develop the skills and build the network I need to make an impact there!
I am very compelled to work on fixing how we deliver and pay for care with aging and high-cost/high-need populations. My goal is to improve how these populations receive care, through strategy for population health initiatives along with federal and state health policy analysis. There’s a growing consensus that what we’ve been doing is not working. Patients and family members aren’t getting the outcomes that they want, and the care we are providing is expensive and unsustainable. Having worked on a systems and implementation level in the past, that part of The Dartmouth Institute’s program was very attractive to me. Equally as important, I felt like it was geared toward people who want to spur meaningful change and make a difference.
Sree Rajendran, MPH'18
Professional background: Clinical researcher
It’s time to realize my goal of becoming a physician-researcher, and to learn from and collaborate with some of the most renowned health care investigators in the world.
Due to my childhood in India, I’ve always wanted to become a physician. But I didn’t really learn about public health until my undergraduate studies when I shadowed physicians.
Now, I know I want to integrate clinical research into practice as a physician. I was first looking at epidemiology and biostats concentrations for public health, but then I came to the realization that there are things that need to be fixed at the structural level. I believe it is time to acknowledge the shortcomings of the current health care system and work toward improving and refining the quality of its delivery. Just reading papers from Dartmouth—from Elliott Fisher, Gil Welch, and the shared decision making researchers who created the Option Grids—I felt like The Dartmouth Institute is very passionate about approaching a more patient-centered focus. I think this program can help me to understand and get educated on all of the aspects of health care, so I can decide where I want to take part in the change, process too.
Helen MacGregor, MPH'19
Professional background: Nurse practitioner
I work at the intersection of criminal justice and health care. As a nurse practitioner at a federal prison, so many of the issues I deal with are related to mental health or substance abuse. A lot of the problems that my patients have are determined by their education, their environment, who they were affiliated with when they were younger—even just basic stuff like orthopedic problems because they’ve been stabbed or shot. This is not pure medicine as we know it. This is all social stuff. I think there’s finally an acknowledgement that we have to take these things into consideration. It’s no longer just under the microscope with the physical exam and the diagnosis isolated to the doctor’s office. It’s broader brush strokes.
Will Erickson, MPH'19
Professional background: Organizer for process improvement
It’s time to achieve my goals and build a network of like-minded colleagues/of people committed to improving population health.It’s not just The Dartmouth Institute's size that makes it special. The faculty are really committed to making sure it’s working for us. It’s an environment that’s very focused on continuous improvement. I’ve been with a single organization (which I love) for a while now, but pretty much the entirety of my health care experience has been inside one little piece of the world. I’m really hoping The Dartmouth Institute can help me get a sense of the wider world. I’m counting on my fellow students to help do that—maybe even more so than the faculty.
Lamar Polk, MPH'19
Professional background: Clinical social worker
It’s an exciting time to be a social justice advocate in health care!
Access to health care has significantly improved under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but there is still considerable work to be done, especially in today’s political climate. As a clinical social worker, I believe in the inherent dignity and worth of all individuals. Everyone should have access to the necessary resources to achieve and maintain optimal health and wellness. To this aim, a strong public health orientation is key because it supports the design of just and affirming macro-level health interventions. The time to act is now!
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