UNTHSC student honored by American Public Health Association
Perhaps the main reason that UNT Health Science Center student Shivani Goswami was selected as this year’s Barbara Starfield Medical Scholar by the American Public Health Association (APHA) is because of her desire to build a better health care system.
As a future health care leader selected for this prestigious national honor, she will be involved in planning and assisting with Medical Section activities for the November APHA Annual Conference in Atlanta.
Seven years ago, Shivani found the road she wanted to take. Interning as a clinical language assistant with autistic patients, she met 9-year-old Sarah, who suffered from complicated speech and motor impairments that intensified when she became nervous or excited.
Shivani said she connected with the “bright-eyed young girl with a contagious smile.” The experience with Sarah and other children like her moved Shivani to want to learn more about the health care delivery system in order to change it.
“I wanted to have an impact on what I saw as a very complex system that sometimes loses sight of the fact that health care delivery is really about caring for people,” she said. “As an intern, I was very limited in my capacity to help Sarah. It was a wonderful feeling to connect with her and make her laugh, but still needing knowledge and training, I couldn’t alleviate her complications or guide her health in the future.
“As I watched this child fight through challenges every day, I found myself drawn toward a Master’s in Health Administration, where I could develop as a leader and use my experience to manage and enhance the quality of healthcare programs in the future.”
On course now to complete her MHA in May from the UNTHSC School of Public Health, Shivani took her first leap into health leadership when she co-established a non-profit regional organization called Health Connect South five years ago. The organization, based in Georgia, builds collaborations among health leaders and innovators in the field.
“Caring for a patient really involves an interdisciplinary focus and a values-based approach,” she said. “With a team of health professionals working together to cover every aspect of a patient’s needs, so much more can be addressed than when one person alone tries to make a difference.”
The UNTHSC public health program has helped Shivani broaden this idea beyond inpatient care services to “communities of care” that partner the patient and family with clinicians and community services addressing nutrition and healthy food access, safe housing, transportation, literacy, employment, education, work training and job opportunities.
“A pediatrician once told me that absolute compassion with humility is the best service a physician can provide. I realized this is also true in public health,” Shivani said. “To tell the health community what you are working on is easy, but to tell them that you need help involves the humility that can lead to groundbreaking collaborations for advancing health care and healthier lives at a faster pace.”
By Jan Jarvis Andrew Weis grew up in a family of pharmacists. His father, mother and brother chose careers in pharmacy, as did he. “Pharmacy has been in my blood a long time,” Dr. Weis said. “Collectively my parents, brother and I have 175 years of pharmacy experience.” Hi...Read more
Oct 18, 2017
By Sally Crocker Opioid-related deaths decreased following the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado, according to a study led by a public health researcher from UNT Health Science Center. The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, showed a 6 percent reduct...Read more
Oct 17, 2017
By Justin Sprick, GSBS student I was working as a personal trainer in my hometown of Odessa when an article caught my eye in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. It was about using blood flow restriction exercise, which uses inflatable cuffs to reduce blood to the worki...Read more
Oct 13, 2017
By Alex Branch University and community leaders marked a major milestone in the construction of the new Interdisciplinary Research and Education Building, with an event celebrating the 5-story building reaching its final height. UNT Health Science Center President Michael R. Williams, new ...Read more
Oct 12, 2017