Eight Master of Public Health Program Students Graduate in Fall 2023

December 12, 2023 by

University of Virginia's 2023 Masters of Public Health Graduate.The Master of Public Health Program was excited to host the Public Health Sciences Fall Semester Poster Day last week.  Eight Graduating MPH Students presented their work and recommendations to improve Health Outcomes and Health Equity.

“I conducted a literature synthesis to understand how undergraduate students define stressors and the strategies that they perceive to mitigate that stress with an interest in mindful movement practices, particularly since Covid-19,” said graduating MPH student Caroline Patterson.  “I wanted to understand the best practices for incorporating mindfulness-based practices into undergraduate students lives, the barriers of engaging in these practices, and how might yoga be used first or in combination with other interventions.”

MPH Student Regina Nutekpor examined Maternal Mortality Rates (MMR), noting that these rates are significantly higher in the U.S. compared to other high income nations.  Her research focused on the relationship of MMR and race, in addition to correlations among U.S. Census Divisions. Regina explained, “Utilizing CDC Wonder Multiple Cause of Death Data, specifically ICD-10 codes, data outputs for death counts were acquired to calculate MMR. Results confirmed mothers identifying as Black or African American had greater incidence of MMR compared to White mothers.”

Another student, Morgyn Hill, conducted an ecological study to explore relationships between housing affordability and community disease spread. “I enjoyed flexing my skills in SQL and SAS to combine and analyze public datasets from Zillow and the Virginia Department of Health. I was drawn to this topic through the ongoing challenges to increase access to housing here in Charlottesville. We have the opportunity to improve the greater health of our community through increasing equity to safe and affordable housing,” said Morgyn.

All MPH students complete a final project known as an Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) that demonstrates synthesis of MPH knowledge and skills developed over a 42-credit hour curriculum. Students select an ILE topic in consultation with an MPH Program Faculty advisor appropriate to their educational and professional goals, based on their Program Concentration. The student may choose one of a variety of methodologies such as economic analysis, policy analysis, geospatial/GIS analysis, program evaluation, health care quality assessment, qualitative analysis, health impact analysis, and quantitative analysis.

In the Research in Practice Concentration, students develop the knowledge and skills public health professionals and clinicians use to conduct research and create and evaluate programs. Students can choose to focus on quantitative and qualitative methods.

In the Health Policy, Law & Ethics Concentration, students explore the US healthcare and public health systems by developing and analyzing health-related policies and laws. Students utilize numerous methodological approaches, including quantitative, qualitative, economic, evaluation, and ethical analysis.

UVA MPH graduates are employed in consulting firms; health departments and other local, state, and federal agencies; health care delivery systems; and nonprofit community agencies. Some students pursue further education in medicine, law, business, or doctoral training in public health.

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