Haidar's Pursuit to Enhance Health Promotion

DrPH graduate's impact to enhance healthy living

Haidar's  Pursuit to Enhance Health Promotion
Photo of Layla Haidar, DrPH, MPH
Layla Haidar, DrPH, MPH

UTHealth Houston School of Public Health graduate students are trained to face the population's complex health challenges. Each year, hundreds of students join a distinguished group of alumni committed to advancing research, crafting policies, and implementing measures to improve the population's health. 

After completing her Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) this May, Layla Haidar, MPH, is poised to begin mitigating chronic diseases. As a DrPH student in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, Haidar has dedicated years to discovering her passions within the field of public health. Her research efforts have centered on exploring the effects of chronic diseases, such as obesity, on the population.  

Supported by her school mentors, she has promoted positive health outcomes through prevention research. Haidar has tailored research measures to improve access to health resources and information to combat and destigmatize obesity, a chronic disease with wide-ranging effects on physical and mental well-being. 

In her dissertation studies, she examined the relationship between family-level influences and rates of childhood obesity. Through this work, Haidar aims to create interventions to tailor positive parenting effects on children to mitigate their role in contributing to critical health issues. 

"I believe that by intervening early to promote healthy lifestyles, we have the power to positively influence their lifelong health outcomes and significantly alter their life trajectories for the better," said Haidar. 

Navigating the cause of chronic diseases such as obesity allows researchers like Haidar to create interventions and highlight the harmful health effects on communities. Public health researchers work to prevent health issues and develop solutions for a healthier world. As a graduate, Haidar will continue to develop her work as a Senior Director for a research site focused on chronic diseases and ailments. 

"The most rewarding aspect of working in the field of public health, particularly in preventive medicine, is witnessing the tangible impact of interventions on improving population health and quality of life," Haidar said. 

For future graduates, Haidar emphasizes the need to "embrace interdisciplinary collaboration and seek out mentorship from experienced professionals to gain insights and guidance as you navigate this dynamic field," she said. "Never underestimate the power of advocacy and community engagement in driving meaningful change in public health practices and policies." 

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