Name: Reginald J. Warren
Graduation year: 2016
Program: Master of Public Health, Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, Concentration in Maternal and Child Health
Interests: Nutrition and physical activity, reproductive health, adolescent health, and maternal and child health
Current Position: Health Services Representative at the Florida Department of Health
(Transitioning to: Health Educator at Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center in New York City)
What position do you currently hold?
Currently, I serve as a Health Services Representative in the Tuberculosis (TB) and Epidemiology program at the Florida Department of Health in Osceola County. My role is similar to a disease investigation specialist and case manager. I work alongside the TB nurse to ensure that individuals diagnosed with active or infectious TB are placed under isolation for two weeks, receive treatment from six to nine months, and are monitored throughout the duration of treatment. Daily and/or bi-weekly, I provide direct observed therapy to clients by monitoring them as they take the medications and noting any adverse reactions to the treatment. I also schedule the clients’ bi-weekly laboratory assessments and report TB cases and treatment status to the State of Florida and Centers for Disease Control.
How has your MPH degree helped you?
My MPH has helped me to have a unique critical lens when analyzing public health problems and the programs and initiatives that are being developed and implemented to solve them. The practical experience I gained while simultaneously learning the methods and tools to develop and evaluate programs was invaluable. While working on the MPH degree, I had the privilege of serving on three research projects–the We Can Do More initiative to reduce teen pregnancy in Houston and Harris County; the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) comprehensive obesity prevention program for pregnant women, mothers, and infants; and the evaluation team for Brighter Bites which is an evidence-based nutrition education program that provides fresh fruits and vegetables to elementary school students and their parents in Austin, Dallas, and Houston. These projects added to my understanding of how to handle challenges faced in the field and the importance of community engagement when conducting programs. The coursework combined with the practical experience I gained has prepared me to have a positive impact on the health programs and initiatives targeting communities I serve.
What particular classes helped you in obtaining your current position / in working in your current position?
I believe the combination of the Health Promotion Theory & Methods 1 & 2, Advanced Methods for Planning and Implementing Health Promotion Programs, and Introduction to Program Evaluation helped me to obtain and to serve in my current position. These courses not only provided a foundation for understanding human behavior, but also allowed me to understand and gain skills for utilizing evidence-based methods to impact human behavior. I apply many of the skills and knowledge I gained in these courses on a daily basis.
Where are you heading with your new position?
Recently, I landed a health educator position at Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center in New York City. In this role, I will have the opportunity to provide health education to adolescents receiving care at the center. I will also assist in training a group of adolescents to serve as peer health educators focused on reproductive health, healthy eating, and active living within their school setting. Furthermore, I will have the opportunity to establish a youth advisory board for the center. I am grateful for the experiences and education I received, and I am confident UTSPH has prepared me for this new role.