I finished my four years at Miami University in the small town of Oxford, OH, and instead of packing my bags for medical school (as I had planned since I was about six), I was packing my bags for Boston and a Masters of Public Health (MPH) program at the Boston University School of Public Health. Why BUSPH? The professors – I connected with some of them in a way that didn’t happy at Emory or GW, despite both having great programs, and the strong international health department
But more importantly, why study global health? Because it’s trendy, and I aspire to be the next Angelina Jolie, saving babies (and landing on Perez Hilton)? Because I want an excuse to travel for my job? Because I don’t care about all the people and populations who need public health assistance here in the U.S.? I’ve heard all of those explanations, and I always struggle to give a succinct answer to the questions of “why global health.” The easier, more emotional reason: because I feel so blessed to have had the life, upbringing, and education I received here in the States, and want to share some of my skills and time helping those who have not been so fortunate.
The more real, honest answer goes along with those feelings of obligation to do something with a purpose and to help others overseas. I think development work, especially related to health and its connection to nearly every other sector, is interesting, complex, politically charged, and immensely intriguing. I love to ask questions, and wonder why we’ve been sending aid money overseas to deal with the same problems for decades without seeing strong results. I wonder why it’s taken so long for the results-revolution of sorts to come to be, with an emphasis on building evaluation on project design. (Thank the Global Fund for influencing that – I’ve always admired their transparency, and their requirements for projects, once approved for a grant, to continue receiving funding.) And if I can study and work in an industry that lets me think about those issues every day, and hopefully help people in the process, I think I made a pretty solid choice.
I’ll use this blog as a forum to post interesting links, articles, and my thoughts on them; to share some of my reflections as a new MPH grad working in the world of USAID; and a few little nuggets of fun about life in D.C., my continuing support of an orphanage in Kenya (check out the One Home Many Hopes tab), and a few recipes.