Public Health Post informs and inflects the broader conversation on health.
Every day we feature new articles about the state of the health of the population. We invite policymakers, journalists, academics, and practitioners to share their work in ways that can influence health on a local, national, and global scale. Our editors, working with graduate student Public Health Post Fellows, present health statistics, traditional journalism, research summaries, interviews with important health thinkers, and easy-to-understand data graphics to start new conversations about health. We join and drive the national dialogue on public health.
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Oluwatobi (Tobi) Alliyu is an MBA-MPH candidate at Boston University where she is also pursuing a certificate in Global Health Monitoring and Evaluation. Drawing from her background in anthropology, she is focused on exploring the intersection of business and global health—particularly health systems strengthening, private-public partnerships, and building capacity for evidence-based decision-making in low- and middle-income countries. When she’s not writing, she can be found dancing to Afrobeats, exploring new cafés, or pretending to be an interior designer on HGTV.
Jori Fortson is an MPH candidate at the Boston University School of Public Health completing certificates in Community Assessment, Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation and Maternal and Child Health. She is broadly interested in racial and ethnic health inequities. Jori’s primary academic interests include sexual and reproductive health, mass incarceration, and adverse childhood experiences. She is drawn to conducting participatory action research, creating community-based interventions, and communicating with diverse audiences about public health matters through media and advocacy in order to influence policy. In her free moments she enjoys traveling and trying new foods.
Julia Garcia is an MPH candidate at BUSPH focusing on Health Policy and Law. Previously, Julia worked at the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority – the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace – assisting DC residents enrolling in both private and public health insurance. Julia also worked on an open enrollment campaign in Texas and for the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, a non-profit organization focused on advocating for quality cancer care for all people touched by cancer. Julia is a proud Texan and graduate of Texas A&M University where she studied English and sociology.
Greg Kantor is an MPH candidate at the Boston University School of Public Health, pursuing a certificate in Health Communication and Promotion. Driven by undergraduate experiences at Muhlenberg College, his primary public health passions are tobacco control and the intersection of public health and journalism. Greg also works in communications for The Health Management Academy, an organization that provides educational and advisory services to executives of the largest US health systems. A native New Yorker, Greg is an avid fan of the state’s losing sports teams — the Mets, Jets, and Islanders.
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Leona Ofei is an MPH candidate at the Boston University School of Public Health pursuing a certificate in health communication and promotion and with an interest in global health. She has experience with writing and translating policy and public health issues to a general audience via varying forms of media. She is interested in learning to create public health communication strategies that are cognizant of the socio-cultural contexts of a population. Leona loves to travel and tries to visit as many new places as she can in her free time.
Rachana is an MPH candidate at Boston University of Public Health completing her certificate in Community Assessment, Program Designing, Implementation, and Evaluation. Her focus is working on a global platform for mental health destigmatization and reducing gender-based violence. She completed her undergraduate studies in dental medicine from India where she conducted health promotion and education programs in both urban and rural settings. In her leisure time, she loves to paint her moods and explore the city of Boston.
Data Visualization Consultant
Jamal Yearwood is completing a Master in Public Health at the University of Washington where he studies health metrics and evaluation. He is also a post-bachelor fellow at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) where he works on the health systems team. At IHME, his works centers around the measurement of healthcare quality, universal health coverage, and progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. He completed a bachelors degree in Spanish at Albion College.
Jennifer Beard, PhD, MA, MPH, is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Global Health. She was a co-principal investigator for the multi-study Ghana Operations Research for Key Populations project. The nine qualitative studies focused on the HIV prevention and other needs of young female sex workers and their intimate partners, prisoners, men who have sex with men, post-secondary female students, women who work in bars, people who inject drugs, and people living with HIV at risk of dropping out of antiretroviral therapy.
Nicholas Diamond holds a Bachelors degree in French and cell and molecular biology from Albion College and a Masters in Public Health from the Boston University School of Public Health. He speaks French and Wolof and uses storytelling as an advocacy tool for community-led movements at the intersection of HIV and LGBT rights. Nicholas has filled global health communications, research, and program implementation roles at MPact Global Action for Gay Men’s Health & Rights and Massachusetts General Hospital. Within global health, he focuses on sex, sexuality, gender, and health and testified as an expert witness at the U.S. Department of Justice to secure asylum for the Senegalese LGBT community.
Michael Stein is the chair of the Department of Health Law, Policy & Management at the Boston University School of Public Health. He is a physician and health services researcher who is an international authority on the intersection of primary care, mental health and substance use disorders. He is author of nine books—six novels, two works of non-fiction, and a medical textbook. Long ago, he was a science policy reporter for NATURE magazine.
Zahra Ahmed is an undergraduate student in the Wilson Institute for Medicine at Albion College. Her primary public health interests are policies regarding noncommunicable diseases and business and community impact on health disparities in low- and middle-income areas.
Caity is an MPH student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill focusing in nutrition and training to become a registered dietitian. After working with food-insecure populations both locally in North Carolina and globally in rural Haiti, her predominant interests are food access and nutrition epidemiology. Caity spends her free time training for distance running events from the mile to the marathon, and has a long term goal of qualifying for the Olympic Trials in the marathon distance.
Niddhi Bajaj is pursuing a certification in public health sciences from the University of Colorado, Denver – Anschutz Medical Campus. She is broadly interested in oncology, maternal health, and mental health, which is driven by the previous experiences in many health care NGOs where she volunteered. She completed a graduation in dental surgery in India and worked with various government school health programs, as well as private enterprises.
Emma Duff is a senior at Roanoke College studying chemistry and public health. She is interested in program development and community health education. During her public health practicum, Emma combined her passions for the outdoors and health education to develop a wilderness first aid curriculum tailored to undergraduate students. Currently, Emma works with the Roanoke College Center for Community Health Innovation to manage the Roanoke Valley Community Healthy Living Index, which aims to facilitate awareness of relationships between place and health across Roanoke City’s neighborhoods.
Danielle Gartner attends Temple University where she majors in public health and minors in nutrition. Particularly passionate about nutrition education, Danielle volunteers with local non-profits that educate school-aged children on the importance of proper nutrition, and she currently interns at Temple’s Center of Obesity Research where she focuses on ways to extend nutrition information to low-income families.
Christina Mitchell is a junior public health major at Temple University. She is currently enrolled in the 4+1 Masters program with a concentration in biostatistics and epidemiology. She is also a research assistant in the Siminoff Research Lab at Temple University working on the cancer caregiver burden study. In addition to her interest in public health, she has a passion for writing, which she pursues as the health columnist at the Temple News.
Maya White is a junior at Temple University majoring in public health. She is interested in health communication and education, particularly in relation to international populations, under-served communities, and individuals with substance use disorders. In her free time, Maya loves to try new foods and explore the beautiful city of Philadelphia.
PHP Fellow 2018
Sampada completed her Master of Public Health degree at Boston University School of Public Health, with a certificate in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She is particularly focused on applying research to bridge communication gaps between health care professionals and the public, especially regarding infectious disease and women’s health. In addition to exploring her several and varied public health interests, Sampada loves browsing record stores, experimenting with her personal style, and petting dogs.
PHP Fellow 2018
Chrissy is an MPH candidate at the Boston University School of Public Health completing certificates in Health Communication and Promotion and Sex, Sexuality, and Gender. She is interested in effective science and health policy communication, especially in the realm of reproductive and sexual health. During her undergraduate studies, she was involved with advocacy work, focusing on abortion and healthcare access in West Virginia, as well as programming with her university’s LGBTQ+ center. Outside of the classroom, Chrissy enjoys traveling, trying new coffee shops in Boston, and reading.
Erin is an MPH candidate at Boston University’s school of Public Health, pursuing certificates in Environmental Health and Biostatistics/Epidemiology. Drawing from her experience in agriculture and health work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania, she’s exploring the intersections of climate change and environmental health in hopes of creating greener, healthier communities. A passionate conservationist, in her free time Erin can be found outside either cycling, climbing, or hiking for the view.
PHP Reporting Fellow 2018
Jackie Rocheleau received her MS in Science Journalism from Boston University School of Communications, and her BA from Boston University in Neuroscience and Psychology. Jackie focuses on brain sciences and public health in her writing and hopes to support science literacy through her journalism. When she’s not writing, she’s probably either playing basketball, re-reading Harry Potter, or looking at pictures of dolphins.
David K. Jones
David’s research examines the politics of health reform. His book Exchange Politics: Opposing Obamacare in Battleground States examines how states made decisions about what type of health insurance exchange to establish as part of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. He has also written about Medicaid, CHIP, and health reform in Europe. His new project re-traces Robert Kennedy’s steps to examine the social determinants of health in the Mississippi Delta. He was awarded the Outstanding Dissertation Award by AcademyHealth for his Ph.D. thesis completed at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. He also has a masters of arts in political science from the University of Michigan and a masters of science in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before graduate school he worked in the Idaho Legislature, the Canadian House of Commons, and Congressman Charles Rangel’s District Office in Harlem, NY. David is originally from New York City where he worked as a pretzel vendor at Yankee Stadium.
PHP Fellow 2017
Gilbert Benavidez is a graduate of the Boston University School of Public Health, where he received his MPH and concentrated in health law, bioethics and human rights. His primary interest is combining data analytics with law and policy instruments to pursue human rights. Gilbert is currently a policy analyst for BUSPH, operating out of the Partnered Evidence-based Policy Resource Center (PEPReC) at the Boston VA. When he isn’t scouring Health Affairs, Gilbert loves to practice his Olympic weightlifting, play guitar, take pictures of his cats, and find new places to eat.
PHP Fellow 2017
Madeline received her Masters of Public Health with certifications in Health Communications & Promotion and Maternal & Child Health. She is particularly drawn to adolescent mental health and development, as well as social enterprise as a tool to address health challenges around the globe. Apart from her seemingly endless list of interests in public health, Madeline enjoys talking to strangers, road-tripping, ocean views, and mountain adventures with her trusty canine companion.
Qing Wai Wong
PHP Fellow 2017
Qing Wai received her MPH from Boston University School of Public Health with certificates in Health Policy and Epidemiology. Her interests include policies that reduce health disparities and equal access to quality education as an important social determinant of health. When not pursuing her academic interests, Qing Wai can be found on the volleyball court, running, or volunteering for various youth development programs in the community.
PHP Fellow 2016-2017
Boston University School of Communications
Jonathan is an editorial researcher at The Conversation Media Group in Boston. He is a radio producer, writer, multimedia journalist and communications specialist. He graduated from Boston University with a master’s degree in Journalism, and received his bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Colorado College in 2010. His work has appeared in print, on the air and online in publications such as the Boston Herald, Public Radio International, the Denver Post, Marquee Magazine, the Boulder Daily Camera, and the Colorado Springs Independent.
PHP Fellow 2016
Maggie is a PhD student at the Boston University School of Social Work. Her doctoral research is concentrated on public policy, with a focus on poverty and systemic oppression. Maggie is a part of the Social Policy Analysis Working Group at the School of Social Work, working on child welfare, economic instability, and child care subsidy projects. Prior to joining BU, Maggie practiced social work with LGBTQ youth and families and in the child welfare system. Maggie is an avid Chicago Cubs fan and loved J.R.R. Tolkien before it was cool.