Where is your Fellowship?
My primary placement is with the AIDS/HIV Program at the Department of Health Services, and my secondary placement is with the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center in Lac du Flambeau.
What were you up to prior to your Fellowship?
I spent the past three years completing my Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health at Washington University in St Louis. Prior to that I was an HIV case manager in Washington, DC and an HIV educator with the Peace Corps in Swaziland.
What inspired you to take the Fellowship route rather than a different type of job/school/etc.?
I’m originally from Wisconsin, so this was an excellent opportunity to come back. I’m interested in learning more about state government and tribal health and wanted to hone some of the skills I learned in my MPH program. Through the fellowship I am able to get involved in a variety of projects, see policy in action, and learn from the best in the field.
What are your main areas of interest within public health?
I’m most interested in HIV, tobacco control policy, physical activity, health equity, and social determinants of health. My final project for my MPH looked at smoking cessation for people living with HIV. Over the past year I’ve become more interested in environmental health.
What is one thing (or many!) you are working on right now in your fellowship?
I’m currently wrapping up an environmental health assessment of existing resources, needs, and priorities of the 34 Tribes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan for Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center (GLITEC) and am putting the finishing touches on a report of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey and health behaviors of lesbian, gay, and bisexual Wisconsin youth. I continue to work on an evaluation of a social marketing campaign addressing anti-gay stigma in Milwaukee called Acceptance Journeys and with a community engagement group addressing childhood obesity at the Menominee Nation. Over the next year I will do some work related to community health assessments for Tribes and local health departments.
What is one public health achievement you think will happen in the next 25 years? What is one you would like to see in the next 25 years?In the next 25 years, I (and the CDC) think that all states (and Tribes!) could have comprehensive smoke-free policies so that no one is involuntarily exposed to secondhand commercial tobacco smoke. I would love to see Complete Streets (streets that accommodate bikes, pedestrians, and wheelchairs) in every city so that active living becomes the norm and would love to see a Gay-Straight Alliance in every school so that LGBT youth can feel safe and supported.