Initial post (completed-including instructions for background info) Describe your practicum site: what they do and the tasks you will be undertaking. Briefly summarize the goals and objectives of your practicum, and the public health competencies your experience will help you achieve.
Response post: Respond to the 3 classmates’ posts below and comment on the tasks and competencies they described. AMA format-cite all sources. 200 words each response.
1. Classmate Alakabawy
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My practicum site is the National Centre for Immunization Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) in Australia. NCIRS is a research organization that provides independent expert advice on all aspects of vaccine preventable diseases and social and other issues related to immunization to inform policy and planning for immunization services in Australia. NCIRS’s primary function is to perform research aimed at reducing the incidence of vaccine preventable diseases and improving vaccine uptake in Australia.
My assignment involves analyzing the data under the supervision of the preceptor. From this exercise, I hope to learn approach to analysis of a large public health dataset, how to do data mining, manage data, use statistical software (e.g. SPSS) and run statistical tests and summarize the findings to produce the report.
1- Learning approach to data analysis and data management.
2- Performing exploratory data analysis.
3- Performing confirmatory analysis.
Public Health Competencies:
1- Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate.
2- Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice.
3- Develop strategies for qualitative and quantitative data management.
4- Synthesize and incorporate scientific evidence into professional writing.
2. Classmate Stevens
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My practicum will be completed with Patient Worthy which is an online publication that features rare disease patients, advocates, and caregivers stories. Patient Worthy also publishes information about the events around the country for patients to attend as well. Part of what I will be working on is a new venture at looking into new and inventive ways to bring rare disease education and support programs to patients all over the country. Examining the current offerings and ways to improve or update them.
My goals and objectives for the experience and project are as follows:
My capstone paper to some degree relates to my practicum experience as I will be examining the challenges faced in the healthcare system in transitioning into managing acute care problems to chronic illness and care problems. With longer lifespans, this shift in care is essential but often difficult to navigate for both the patient and practitioner. While rare diseases can fall under the chronic illness they are and even more challenging issue in both receiving the diagnosis and care options open to them as well. My capstone will relate but on a broader health scale.
3. Classmate Bickford
Haiti — BHI and SBHF
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I will be working with Build Health International (BHI) and the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation (SBHF), two Boston-based organizations, to complete my practicum hours this term. A little background: BHI is a non-profit that designs, builds, and equips high-quality, sustainable health care facilities in resource-poor regions of the world. Their goal is to improve quality of care, ensure care is both affordable and accessible, and ultimately contribute to a growing infrastructure that will improve public health. In 2015 BHI partnered with SBHF to construct a brand new Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health (MNCH) Center at the St. Boniface Hospital on Haiti’s southern peninsula in an effort to improve maternal and child health outcomes in a country that has the worst mortality rates for women and children in the western hemisphere.
I am planning on traveling to Haiti during this term to actually see the new MNCH Center and observe the facility in operation, collect and analyze relevant data, and meet with and interview the doctors and staff that keep the place running. My main goal is to provide BHI with a comprehensive evaluation of the MNCH Center’s impact on maternal and child health in southern Haiti, focusing particularly on how successful BHI was in designing and constructing a facility that adequately meets the needs of women and children in the region. A quantitative analysis of delivery rates, patient numbers, and maternal mortality rates pre and post construction of the MNCH Center will help answer this question, along with an analysis of how the individuals involved in the development of the MNCH Center and those who work there now view its impact. Another objective towards reaching my goal will be to brainstorm potential obstacles for the MNCH Center’s ability to adequately provide for and improve maternal and child health outcomes.
To provide an example of what I might be looking at, when discussing this project with folks at BHI, they mentioned that in designing the MNCH Center they estimated 6 delivery beds would be sufficient; however, just a couple years post completion it became clear they vastly underestimated how many beds would be needed. My work and research with BHI will attempt to understand which assumptions BHI made were correct, which were wrong, and why. For example, I will definitely consider how the devastating 2016 Hurricane (Matthew) might have affected BHI’s initial assumptions. Ideally BHI can utilize this information as they undergo future planning and designing of health care facilities in impoverished areas.
There is so much for me to learn from this opportunity. I believe it will help me achieve a number of specific competencies: qualitative and quantitative data analysis to identify factors affecting the health of a community; analysis of programs and services to evaluate their potential impact on the health of a community; and utilization of evidence to support decision making in the development and evaluation of public health initiatives.
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