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2016-2017 Elon-Alamance Health Partners

Maggie Bailey

Agency Placement

Healthy Alamance

Undergraduate Major

Political Science, minor in Spanish

Highlights of Service Year

My work with Healthy Alamance has included both programmatic initiatives and systems-level advocacy work to create more equitable access to healthcare, physical activity, and fresh food. This includes assisting with the operation of the North Park Farmers’ Market and developing strategies to increase community engagement in and ownership of the market. I am also involved with projects that arise out of our healthy living coalitions: the Alamance Wellness Collaborative and Alamance Food Collaborative. Within the Wellness Collaborative, I am helping to coordinate candidate forums and other advocacy efforts to foster community awareness about the need for built environment improvements. Participation in the Food Collaborative has enabled me to explore my interest in food policy and strengthening community food systems. I am leading a workgroup to expand the presence and use of school and community gardens and enhance nutrition education within schools in the county.  Working with Healthy Alamance has been a perfect fit for me, as it has allowed me to couple my interest in public policy with my passion for reducing disparities in health and nutrition.

Favorite Aspect of EAHP Experience

My favorite part of the Elon Alamance Health Program is the mutually beneficial relationship it creates between the fellows and the community. Graduates gain a meaningful, hands-on learning experience with community health work, while increasing the capacity of our partner agencies. I have been able to work with and be mentored by incredibly passionate, knowledgeable people who are invested in this community and in my own professional development. My experiences in this role have opened my eyes to the growth that is happening in Alamance County, and I am excited to contribute to it.

After the Service Year

After my year of service as an EAHP, I will begin a position as a research assistant with the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, an independent, quasi-state agency that provides information on issues related to health in North Carolina. The NCIOM convenes task forces of experts from across the state to study complex health issues and provide recommendations to state and local government, healthcare systems, the private sector, and other stakeholder organizations. In this role, I will provide research support for upcoming task forces and other ongoing projects. I look forward to continuing to explore the intersection of health and policy in North Carolina, and will apply the community health lens I have gained through my work in Alamance County to my work at the state level.

Zach Fisher

Agency Placement

Alamance County Health Department

Undergraduate Major

Biology, minor in Chemistry

Highlights of Service Year

I am working on projects related to access to care, which is one of the priorities identified in last year's Alamance County Community Assessment.

With the Affordable Care Act workgroup, I am working to increase the number of people in the county with health insurance. Starting in November, Maggie, Olivia and I will be assisting people with choosing plans and enrolling through HealthCare.gov. We are also working on educating the public about enrollment and using their health insurance.
I am also working with the Alamance Steps Up taskforce, which is working to decrease the number of people with mental illness in the county jail by diverting them toward treatment instead. I will be working on a pilot project to identify people dealing with both homelessness and mental health problems and to move them into permanent housing with coordinated care management.

Favorite Aspect of EAHP Program

My favorite part of the EAHP program has been going to meetings and conferences with my mentor, Stacie Saunders, and learning more about how health departments and local governments work to improve people's health and wellness. I'm hoping to attend medical school next fall, and I think this experience will be invaluable for my future career.

After the Service Year

In the fall of 2017, I will be starting medical school at UNC Chapel Hill. Because of my public health work as an EAHP, I hope to continue working to address "upstream" social determinants of health and to serve patients with limited access to care. I am currently interested in going into either pediatrics or psychiatry.

 

Olivia Murray

Agency Placement

Alamance Regional Medical Center

Undergraduate Major

Biology and Public Health Studies

Highlights of Service Year

I facilitate the Safety Net Providers Group of Alamance County which is composed of organizations that work with the underserved population. Through this group, I work to increase collaboration among these agencies and advocate for change in the community that targets social determinants of health. I have also been working on Affordable Care Act enrollment and outreach activities with Zach and Maggie. We have been trained as Certified Application Counselors (CACs) and will be working one-on-one with individuals to help them get covered through the Marketplace. I am also working on a proposal for a primary care clinic in a low-income area of Burlington. This has involved in-depth analyses to determine why individuals are going to the Emergency Department for non-acute care and of population demographics of the area.

Favorite Aspect of EAHP Program

My mentor/supervisor/boss Kathy Colville! Having a supportive professional relationship has been extremely helpful in the transition from college to the “real world.”

After the Service Year 

I will be attending medical school at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago starting Fall 2017. I hope to inform my medical career using aspects of my EAHP experience, including built environment and social determinants of health. I aim to bring a patient-centered approach to medicine to effectively address priority health needs of patients and communities, particularly those who are medically under-served and vulnerable.

Anna Patterson

Agency Placement

Impact Alamance

Undergraduate Major

Sociology

Highlights of Service Year

Each of my varied experiences during the EAHP program highlighted the importance of working together with others across many sectors to create a larger, community-level impact. During the year, I had the opportunity to study and practice implementation of partnerships between public health and planning to create sustainable change through built environment initiatives.  My responsibilities include analyzing and presenting grant outcomes and leading site visits for over 20 funded initiatives. As part of my year of service at Impact Alamance, I helped to facilitate the Alamance Wellness Collaborative, which is led by Impact Alamance and Healthy Alamance.  In this role, I helped convene more than 40 individuals on a monthly basis from planning, public health, parks and recreation, nonprofits, education, health care, and business to collaborate around four strategic goals centered on built environment and local advocacy for a health-in-all-policies approach.  Additionally, one of my primary responsibilities was the planning and implementation of The Teacher Leadership Academy.  This program, which is funded by Impact Alamance, is a partnership between the school system, the Alamance Chamber, and Impact Alamance that provides professional development for approximately 50 teachers each year. 

Favorite Aspect of EAHP Program

My favorite aspect of the EAHP experience was getting to interact with and learn from caring and experienced leaders in Alamance County.  The EAHP experience encourages personal and professional growth, exploration, and vulnerability, all under the guidance and mentorship of professionals in the field of public health.  Additionally, the leadership development program I had the opportunity to participate with alongside the other EAHPs and the various conferences I attended with Impact Alamance allowed me the opportunity to develop my personal leadership and knowledge of various topics relevant to the field of public health.   

After the Service Year 

After my year of service with the EAHP program, I will begin a dual degree master’s program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to study City and Regional Planning and Public Health. The strong, shared commitment the fields of public health and city planning have towards social science theory, knowledge, and practical application to positively influence the wellbeing of individuals and communities is consonant with my philosophy of social-behavioral change and community development. This program will prepare me to achieve my goals by providing a unique training grounded in science and experience.  This dual perspective acknowledges the benefits of both fields and aims to create a greater collective impact for communities.  My vision for my own contribution to service in the future focuses on continued engagement with distressed urban and rural communities in North Carolina striving toward better health with a focus on how planning will accomplish better health.