BSPH in Community Health, 2017
I came to IUPUI in 2013 in hopes of becoming an ultrasound technician. After my first semester, I considered switching my major but was unsure of which path to take. My advisor discussed the community health program at the Fairbanks School of Public Health with me and it caught my attention.
I admire the dedicated work that doctors, nurses, and healthcare facilitators do every day. Their field of work is essential. However, I feel that working in the field of public health has allowed me to impact larger amounts of individuals who need support.
Throughout my four years at IUPUI, I’ve taken numerous courses that display the need for more community health workers. I have obtained knowledge regarding social determinants of health, how nonprofits operate, and coaching for health behavior change.
I completed my summer internship at a local nonprofit that is called Healthy Communities of Clinton County Coalition. Healthy Communities has a coalition that meets once a month that works together to improve the overall well-being of Clinton County and other surrounding areas. It has several grants that are funded through different sources like March of Dimes and the Indiana State Health Department, and offers items like cribs, car seats, bicycles, tobacco cessation, and education for teen pregnancy prevention so that community members are able to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
I grew up in Clinton County and know the community very well, so I was extremely excited to be involved in improving the wellbeing of its members. After completing my internship, Healthy Communities then offered me a position at their organization!
I am now the tobacco prevention and cessation coordinator for Healthy Communities and the Baby & Me program facilitator. I work on reducing the burden of tobacco in Clinton County through policy implementation, offering cessation classes to lower adult tobacco use, and educating youth about the harm of using tobacco products. For the Baby & Me program, I assist pregnant women in quitting tobacco and also reducing secondhand smoke exposure to others.
Some members of our community can’t get resources that are vital to the safety of their family and themselves. I enjoy being able to help support individuals that might have little or no support at all.