What attracted you to the health metrics field?
Health metrics offers purposeful work at the intersection of my intellectual passions; global health and mathematics. While studying public health in Washington, DC, Vietnam, South Africa, and Brazil, I recognized the importance of data and rigorous research in the global health landscape. Returning to school, I wrote my honors thesis in mathematics about modeling HIV transmission across networks with community structure. Completing this research independently fueled my desire to continue seeking creative solutions using mathematics. After graduating from Bates College, I moved to Providence, Rhode Island, to serve as the Data Analyst AmeriCorps VISTA at the Rhode Island Free Clinic. With data from our electronic health records, enrollment surveys, and volunteer database, I built reports on health outcomes and the clinic’s impact. My analyses informed decisions at the clinic, and provided stakeholders with a better understanding of the amazing work the clinic does for the community.
In each of my past experiences, I find a common thread; an enjoyment of analytical thinking and creative problem-solving, particularly in the context of global health and public good. The analytical spirit, the recognition that data and information are crucial to informed decision-making and maximized impact, and the underlying desire to leave the world a better place that we found it are all what I love about health metrics.
What work are you doing at IHME?
At IHME, I am on the Global Burden on Disease (GBD) nonfatal health outcomes team. More specifically, I am responsible for modeling chronic respiratory diseases as well as a handful of risk factors: intimate partner violence, childhood sexual abuse, and unsafe sex. Through systematic collection, processing, and analysis of global data, our team produces estimates of disease burden that may assist policymakers and key players in the world of global health.
How do you think your experience at IHME will contribute to your future work?
After my time as a Post-Bachelor Fellow, I hope to continue in a career either in health metrics or in another quantitative public health field. With this in mind, IHME is a unique place to build a deep foundation of skills and understanding. IHME is home to a community of talented programmers, and we are well positioned to learn from others and cultivate programming skills that will be essential to data analysis in any current and future work. The range of projects and topic areas I will have exposure to as a PBF will give me a broad understanding of the global health landscape and the variety of methods used for health research. Finally, I hope to gain inspiration and motivation from the incredible individuals at IHME, all with their own unique backgrounds, interests, and talents.