Careers & Alumni

Where will an MPH take you?

 
Jaime HinojosaEtienne Jaime Hinojosa, MPH ‘16

Program: MPH Community Health
Current role: Global Health and International Outreach Coordinator at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

On a normal day in my position: My responsibilities are divided in three main areas. I teach a discussion based course in Global Health to second year medical students in collaboration with medical schools in Central America and the Caribbean. I coordinate international field study and project for medical students. Second year medical students are provided the opportunity to participate in a week long practice field study in one of our three international sites and third and fourth year are able to spend a month long practice experience international rotation. I am responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of international projects at VCOM’s international sites, guided by evidence-based research.

The most surprising thing about my work: The most surprising thing about my work is learning how much interprofessional teamwork is needed for programs to be developed, not only among health related fields but other areas essential for the development and implementation such as finances and marketing. Additionally, as a monitoring and evaluation coordinator, suitable interprofessional and communication skills are needed in order to appropriately share and disseminate results and findings according to your audience.

The thing I love most about my work: The thing I love most about my work is the service provided during the international week long field study or the month long rotation. It allows students to briefly see the need and condition in developing countries and the benefit that communities receive with well implemented programs.

My future career goals include: My future career goals include continuing gaining experience and skill in the development, implementation, and evaluation of international programs and obtaining a PhD in an area of Global Planning and International Development or Urban and Infrastructure development.

One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: The skills and knowledge I obtained from the course work from the Master of Public Health has helped me tremendously in the implementation and evaluation of health programs using different approaches and methodologies. The knowledge that I gained has been key in my career in Public Health.

Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: The dedication by my professors and preceptors to have a more hands-on education. It has helped me gain skills highly beneficial in my career and that make me be differentiated.

 
Sufana Shikdar
Sufana Shikdar, MPH ’16
Program: MPH Epidemiology
Current role: Physician at Mercy Catholic Medical Center in New York

On a normal day in my position: I interact with my patient and take part in various volunteering events. I am also involved in quality improvement projects.

The most surprising thing about my work: I can directly address the healthcare need of the community.

The thing I love most about my work: The opportunity to serve the underserved and vulnerable people of the community and continuous effort to reduce the healthcare disparities.

My future career goals include: Oncology fellowship.

One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: I appreciate the inter-professional education rounds organized by UNTHSC. As a health care provider I work with a multidisciplinary team of pharmacists, public health professionals, nurses, social workers and nutritionist on a daily basis to ensure patients centered care.

Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: UNTHSC prepared me to apply my education and research in providing evidence based medicine.

 
Matthew RushingMatthew Rushing, DO, MPH ’15
Program: DO/MPH dual degree
Current role: Chief Resident, Emergency Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine

On a normal day in my position: I have the opportunity to work alongside some of the best and brightest in medicine in caring for a large underserved population. In the emergency department, I have the privilege of helping people in their time of greatest need.

The most surprising thing about my work: The appreciation patients have to be seen by a doctor after sometimes waiting for over 12 hours in the waiting room of the busy county hospital.

The thing I love most about my work: Being able to help a stranger out in their time of need, and that no two days are alike.

My future career goals include: Continuing to work as an emergency medicine physician, participate in medical education, remain involved in Emergency Medical Services, become involved with local public health department.

One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: UNTHSC provided both my medical and MPH training. I use the education I received at UNTHSC every day in providing care in my role as an emergency physician, and the opportunity I have to care for people from all walks of life in the emergency department exposes me to the population health issues affecting our community.

Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: The commitment shown by UNTHSC to ensure that every student has the opportunity to succeed and to realize their dreams. There are tremendous resources made available from the quality of the academic faculty to the library resources to advisement and career services staff all working together to provide an ideal educational experience.

Kelly BowersKelly Bowers, MPH ’14
Program: MPH Biostatistics
Current role: Manager, Post Market Surveillance at Johnson & Johnson

On a normal day in my position: Run a group that executes a monthly surveillance system that uses statistical techniques, algorithms and statistical programming to analyze complaint data from medical devices in the market to detect signals of adverse product quality or patient safety experiences.

The most surprising thing about my work: Statistical programming wasn’t my strong suit in school but now I’m managing a group heavily based upon statistical programming!!!

The thing I love most about my work: Using statistics to help save patients’ lives and provide better surgical solutions to physicians. So much action is taken from the numbers my group generates!!

My future career goals include: Develop the robustness of statistical algorithms in place to perform complaint trending and Signal Detection in Johnson and Johnson medical devices, recruit and retain talent with strengths in this area, continue on in a leadership role in this space and further work to define it as a statistically focused department.

One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: Using statistics and visual analytical to answer research questions. We do this every day but replace research with business or engineering questions.

Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: The strong foundation in application of statistical methods. As I’m a hiring manager many people apply from many different programs and the education received from UNTHSC in Biostatistics was far better than I’m seeing from candidates from “fancier” schools. Thank you Dr. Suzuki!

 
Kathleen FrancisKathleen Francis, MPH ’14
Program: MPH Community Health
Current role: Medical Student at UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine – University of the Incarnate Word

On a normal day in my position: As an OMS1, I have been able to apply my MPH as part of the OMT student clinic founder’s board. We are initiating in community engagement while compiling a needs assessment of Southside San Antonio in order to better understand our intended patient population for the OMT center.

The most surprising thing about my work: Having insight into the Public Health realm has led me to help give my fellow students a bigger lens in which to view patient care. I am able to relate more to the humanistic component of health care by focusing not only on the patient’s condition, but see how their SES effects those health outcomes.

The thing I love most about my work: I LOVE bringing in public health concepts into the medical field. Sometimes physicians get tunnel vision during patient encounters and forget to look at the entire person when determining their treatment plans. Keeping in mind simple concepts such as income and transportation can impact patient compliance so I like to remind my peers of these ideas when we approach case studies.

My future career goals include: I intend to continue to use my MPH during my entire career as a future physician because a person is not reflected as just their disease. They are effected by where they live, what they do for employment, their social situations both in the home and out.

One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: I constantly advocate for people to think of strategies on the legislative scale to help lobby for positive change in the health care field.

Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: The cohort experience was i think the most amazing way to move through the curriculum. I was able to form lifelong friendships that I continue for foster even now 3 years later. I know that my fellow alumni have also pursued careers in the medical field and I hope for the opportunity to collaborate with them in the future.

 
Kelly Medders
Kelly Medders, MPH ’14
Program: MPH Online Professional Option
Current role: Manager of Physician Contracting at Baylor Scott & White Health

On a normal day in my position: My job is to justify the compensation paid to physicians, either through their practice, through call pay, or an administrative role.

The most surprising thing about my work: How much thought goes into everything that you pay a physician.

The thing I love most about my work: My job is challenging every day, and I continue to learn new things daily.

My future career goals include: I’d like to promote to Director and possibly Vice President.

One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: My health administration classes were very helpful when learning to do this role.

Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: The thoughtful professors. I loved my classes and loved how much they loved teaching the subjects they taught.

 
Roberto Ramirez, MPH ’14Roberto Ramirez
Program: MPH Community Health
Current role: Community Health Promotion Specialist at the County of San Diego

On a normal day in my position: I dictate what I want to do. I am able to interact with community members to pursue policy, systems, and environmental changes that help establish sustainable improvements in overall health.

The most surprising thing about my work: Every day is different, and every day brings on a new challenge. The work is never the same and it’s very rewarding.

The thing I love most about my work: The freedom I have to shape the health and well-being of the communities I work in.

My future career goals include: Continue to scale the management ladder at my employer.

One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: As a foundation to building relationships with my communities and to offer public health expertise when designing and implementing health interventions.

Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: My professors, Dr. Brad Cannell, Dr. Kimberly Fulda, and Dr. Scott Walters. They not only taught me in the classroom, but also offered wise words of advice in life and for my career aspirations.

 
Christine CardinalChristine Cardinal, JD, MPH ’13
Program: MPH Online – Professional Option
Current role: Assistant Professor in the Population Health Department at Sam Houston State University

On a normal day in my position: Teaching, researching & advising.

The most surprising thing about my work: Politics.

The thing I love most about my work: Seeing students succeed.

My future career goals include: Helping build a nonprofit organization for families with vascular-Ehlers Danlos disorder

One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: My experience student teaching helped me to develop my teaching style.

Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: The smaller class sizes.

 
Jessica Dupree
Jessica Dupree, MPH ’13
Program: MPH Community Health
Current role: Healthcare Coalition Preparedness Manager at North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council

On a normal day in my position: Program evaluation and performance tracking. Regional and state meeting preparation. Teambuilding and leadership development.

The most surprising thing about my work: How well my public health knowledge translates to program and contract management.

The thing I love most about my work: Building relationships with regional, state, and national partners in the preparedness field.

My future career goals include: Completing my Doctorate in Public Health and creating tools to further assist in the development of hospital preparedness at the regional, state, and national level.

One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: Pivot tables, survey design, and data analysis.

Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: The career services department. Their tools and events helped me to find a stellar practicum experience, which lead me to my current position.

 

Nancy Luna
Nancy Luna, MPH ‘13
Program: MPH Online Professional Option
Current role: Medical Service Corps Officer with the US Navy

On a normal day in my position: “Normal”? Varies. I’m currently in operations at a medical battalion, but I recently returned from a deployment in Europe/Africa.

The most surprising thing about my work: How much thought goes into everything that you pay a physician.

The thing I love most about my work: My job is challenging every day, and I continue to learn new things daily.

My future career goals include: I’d like to promote to Director and possibly Vice President.

One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: My health administration classes were very helpful when learning to do this role.

Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: The thoughtful professors. I loved my classes and loved how much they loved teaching the subjects they taught.

 
Kaley SimonKaley Simon, MPH ’13
Program: MPH Epidemiology
Current role: Program Manager HIIN Operations at Vizient, Inc.

On a normal day in my position: I speak with Clients about their questions pertaining to quality improvement data. I work with internal and external stakeholders to improve quality in hospital settings.

The most surprising thing about my work: The US healthcare systems is changing every day. I focused on epidemiology in my graduate program but the alarming need is in health care management and policy. The government is conducting many experiments in an effort to shift care from volume to value and there is a growing need for hard working, intelligent graduates. I’ve been most surprised at the lack of business management principles in healthcare.

The thing I love most about my work: The thing I love most about my work is the opportunity to improve the US healthcare system- to shift from volume to value for the patient.

My future career goals include: I would love to be in upper management at large health system.

One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: My UNTHSC education gave me a basis for understanding the complexities of the US health care system. My MPH also trained me in database management and SAS which have been invaluable in my career. I use my data and analytics skills on a daily basis.

Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: I appreciated the well-rounded nature of the MPH program. My advisor (Dr. Cardarelli) did a great job at pushing me to get the most value out of my graduate education.

 
Elyse FristchelElyse Fristschel, MPH ‘11

Program: MPH Epidemiology
Current role: Clinical Epidemiologist at the UCLA Medical Center

On a normal day in my position: One can expect to perform surveillance (for hospital-acquired infections, reportable illnesses, surgical site infections, etc.) on a regular basis.  Typical days also include rounding activities and a few meetings with various hospital departments and stakeholders.  This career is pretty multi-faceted and fast-paced…expecting the unexpected is a good rule of thumb.

The most surprising thing about my work: It may not be all that surprising, but infection prevention (IP) plays such an integral role in hospital operations.  Anything from construction to waste management and kitchen operations involve IP in some way, shape, or form.

The thing I love most about my work: Promoting patient safety is quite rewarding.  I interact with patients and families at times, and I think that motivates me on a different level than if I was purely performing surveillance behind the scenes.

My future career goals include: Management.

One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: I use SPSS for data analysis at times (but if you enjoy data management/analysis and want to maintain that skill set, I would caution against this particular career as a whole.)

Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: I appreciated how invested professors were in their students’ success.  There are individuals who absolutely changed my life (particularly Dr. Felini), and I could never thank them enough for their mentorship and kindness.

 
Jayakrishna K KuradaJayakrishna K Kurada, MBBS, MPH ‘10

Program: MPH Clinical Research / Biostatistics
Current role: Medical Consultant- Tuberculosis (National TB Control Program) at the World Health Organization

On a normal day in my position: I offer technical assistance to my State in the implementation of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program in the mission towards eliminating TB in India by 2030.

I spend a typical day at work in supportive supervisory field visit offering technical assistance to the needy. The site of work varies from patient homes in a rural village hamlet to state of the art TB Containment Laboratory at a tertiary care teaching hospital. I interview patients and care givers, assess the quality of care cascade, identify roadblocks, and offer solutions. When I wear the hat of an epidemiologist, I aid evidence based health policy making by ministerial cadre offering outputs from program data analytics.

The most surprising thing about my work: The versatility, the complexity and the creative freedom is what makes my work most enjoyable and surprising.

The thing I love most about my work: There is absolutely no monotony. Every day presents a new challenge/opportunity. As a WHO consultant, you stay on the cutting edge as domain expert, have the power of accessibility, the opportunity to look beyond the numbers and peep through the lives of patients in field. You become the agent of change. The privilege of analyzing gigabytes of data and generate field evidences to advocate for health policy reforms. The gratification at work in improving lives of the sickened, treating communities and population at large being an impact player in turning the tide against TB in India.

My future career goals include: Over the next 5 years, I envision myself transitioning from my current level of operations in India at the State/National level to a global level. WHO Geneva would be my dream career destination executing my job as a global public health expert. Ending TB epidemic in India by 2035 would be my long term career interest.

One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: The global degree I earned at UNTHSC gave me the platform and foundation upon which I jump started my public health career. My very first job assignment landed me as a HIV epidemiologist in National AIDS Control Program, India looking after more than 75 million population data. The grooming at UNTHSC inculcated me with the right balance of technical expertise, communication skills and confidence to handle a National Health Program.

Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: The stimulating classrooms, the culturally diverse student body, the approachable faculty and the peer competition at the School were most appealing to me. Education was definitely student friendly. My practicum experience was very nurturing under Dr. Anna Espinoza and Dr. Sattar. If not for their kind sincere letters of reference, I would not have got a flying start to my career.

 
Anissa CastilloAnissa (Carbajal-Diaz) Castillo, MPH ‘08
Program: MPH Community Health
Current role: Health Educator at Humana

On a normal day in my position: I teach health focused classes in a free-standing center focused on people age 60+.  The center is vibrant so I team with Humana sales agents, community providers, and professional staff to meet the needs of the population coming to the Humana Guidance Center for social interaction, health classes, flu shot clinics, shingles classes, Silver Sneakers programming, and more.

The most surprising thing about my work: The ability to make a difference in the 60+ population I work with and take my feedback to Humana leadership to improve and adjust programming.  There is no better front line position!

The thing I love most about my work: The stories shared like this one:  “After taking Harmonicas for Health for one month, my breathing has drastically improved.  I can walk 2-3 miles now without working so hard for my breath. I couldn’t even walk one before taking the class”.

My future career goals include: Doctoral training in health communication, health equity, health education.

One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: Utilizing and leveraging the resources from my membership in SOPHE to advance my role/daily work.  UNTHSC taught me the value of professional affiliations for lifelong learning and benefit for both me and the populations I serve.

Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: The accessibility of the faculty.

 
Sharon GustowskiSharon Gustowski, DO, MPH ‘01

Program: DO/MPH dual degree
Current role: Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Osteopathic Principles, Practices and Integration at the University of the Incarnate Word-School of Osteopathic Medicine

On a normal day in my position: I have fun teaching, teaching, designing curriculum, and getting our new SOM up and running.

The most surprising thing about my work: The depth and breadth of innovation and creativity of my colleagues and learners.

The thing I love most about my work: Training the next generation of osteopathic physicians and sharing my passion for osteopathic medicine.

My future career goals include: Retirement!  Well, retirement from full time medical education into part-time clinical practice.

One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: I’m currently designing a program for clinical skills teaching assistants which includes obtaining an MPH.  I feel that the experience in the DO/MPH dual degree program enriched my perspective on patient care, so I’d like to provide that opportunity to current students.

This page was last modified on March 27, 2018