Health Administration Health Professions Master of Public Health Physician Assistant Studies School of Health Professions and Human Services

Strong Showing at Nat’l Public Health Conference

HPHS Dean Holly Seirup (far left) joins faculty and students at the American Public Health Association's annual conference in San Diego.

Several students, alumni, and faculty from the School of Health Professions and Human Services were honored at the 2018 American Public Health Association’s (APHA) annual conference in San Diego, California this past week:

  • Master of Public Health (MPH) student Tari Ajeh’18 was one of just 50 students selected nationwide to receive APHA’s annual meeting scholarship. She was chosen for the $500 prize from among more than 400 applicants who wrote essays demonstrating how they would benefit from the conference and share the experience with others.

“I wanted to attend because the theme of this year’s conference is ‘Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health Equity Now,’ and I have recently become involved in health equity research with the Birth Justice Warriors project,” said Ajeh, who is a research assistant for the Department of Health Professions as well as the Center for Entrepreneurship.  “It is important to me to be up to date with what is currently ongoing in the field. After graduation this December, I hope to remain in the field of maternal and child health and focus on more clinical research and data analysis.  ”

The Birth Justice Warriors project was co-founded by MPH Associate Professor Martine Hackett, as an initiative to raise awareness of black infant and maternal mortality rates in Nassau County and advocate for better education and medical care.  Dr. Hackett also presented research at the APHA conference that looked at housing strategies to create health equity in aging minority suburban communities.

  • MPH 2017 alumna Lauren Doodian won the Retirement Research Foundation’s honorable mention award and a $500 stipend for her research on time banking as a mechanism for building intergenerational community support. The research, which she presented at the conference with MPH Associate Professor Corinne Kyriacou, stemmed from her MPH culminating experience project.
  • Research by Assistant Professor of Health Professions Jessica Holzer and Shilpa Londhe, an adjunct professor in the Master of Health Administration program, about gaps in maternal morbidity data was rated the highest scoring abstract at APHA’s Women’s Caucus, meaning it met high standards for originality, interest and research methods.
  • Alana Doonachar, a 2016 alum of the Physician Assistant Studies program and a 2019 MPH candidate, co-authored a research paper with MPH Associate Professor Anthony Santella on oral rapid HIV testing in university-based dental clinics, which was accepted for the conference.
  • Samira Khan MPH’16 also presented research that looked at barriers that Muslim Americans may face when communicating with healthcare providers.

The MPH program, with additional funding from the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, subsidized expenses for six graduate students — Victoria McLean, Tahirah Ellis, Dunesh Kaur, Nimisha Singh, Alanna Doonachar, and Jean Krebs – to attend the APHA conference as well.

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