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2018 GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP TRAINING PROGRAM FELLOWS

In 2018, HSHPS partnered with the HHS Office of Minority Health through the Youth Health Equity Model of Practice (YHEMOP) to provide fellowship opportunities to students interested in a career in health. The fellowships provided to HSHPS offered hands on, "in the field" learning opportunities through 10-week, project-based placements in diverse organizations or institutions that promote health equity and/or address health disparities. HSHPS received over 200 applicants for the two fellowship placements with YHEMOP, it was a competitive applicant pool. The two placements were with: 

The Center for Translation Research & Implementation Science, National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD
and
The Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore, MD

Below is an introduction to the 2018 Graduate Fellowship Training Program Fellows and tn abstract of the program they supported. 

Christopher Balam, MS Exercise Physiology

College of Human & Health Development at California State University, Northridge

Christopher Balam is a recent graduate of California State University, Northridge (CSUN) with a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology. Mr. Balam’s research was dedicated to combating the level of physical inactivity in Latino adults in the San Fernando Valley/Los Angeles area with free community-based exercise programs. His program, 100 Citizens, was recognized by the White House and won the popular vote in Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign. His professional interests are currently dedicated to research in physiology and health disparities in racial and ethnic minorities. He looks to continue his work in positions that provide a positive effect on the current state of health inequity and to gain acceptance into a PhD program in Exercise Physiology or Public Health.


NHLBI Diversity Supplement Program Analysis

MENTORS: LeShawndra Price, PhD; Commander Helen Cox

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s diversity supplement program seeks to improve research career preparedness for candidates from diverse backgrounds, increase the number of individuals from diverse backgrounds who pursue doctoral degrees in health-related science and to increase the retention of diversity program participants in health-related research activities. In 2014, a study was conducted to review awardees from 1988-2008 to examine the program trends and successes of former participants. Additionally, this study generated recommendations to improve the diversity supplement program. For this project, all awardees from fiscal year 2017 were reviewed to begin the process of the 2008-2018 review that will be conducted.

The methods for this project consisted of defining the parameters of the group to be examined, extracting data on these individuals from two internal National Institute of Health data servers (QVR, Sharepoint), and finally compiling all candidate information to a single location for review. The variables we looked at include (1) level of researcher (2) racial/ethnic group (3) gender (4) location (5) award status (new/continuing).

The specific outcomes of this project cannot be shared at this time due to sensitive and personally identifiable information. However, at a later date this information will be evaluated and published in an Evaluation of Selected NHLBI Diversity Promoting Programs, where specific recommendations will be made for improvement of the NHLBI Diversity Supplement programs.


Olivia Carvajal, Juris Doctor

Arizona Summit Law School 


Olivia Carvajal was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She recently graduated from law school with a Juris Doctor degree. In 2014 Miss Carvajal earned her Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Arizona in Public Management and Policy with a minor in Business Administration and Sociology. During law school, Miss Carvajal assisted with pro bono work for citizenship renewal requests and estate planning. Miss Carvajal has worked on political campaigns and the US Congress. Her future career goals include improving health equity through healthcare policy implementation for all racial and ethnic minorities of all ages. With her law degree, Miss Carvajal hopes to create a brighter future for the generations to follow. 


Baltimore City Health Department Overdose Awareness and Prevention

MENTOR: Kelleigh Eastman

In 2015, the Baltimore City Health Commissioner prescribed a blanket prescription of Naloxone to the citizens of Baltimore. The lifesaving medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose is used to combat the opioid public health emergency the city of Baltimore faces. Our objective was to work with the community in preparation of International Overdose Awareness Day.

The methods we engaged in consisted of a three-pillar strategy. Pillar one consisted of saving lives with Naloxone. We were in the streets of Baltimore City providing free training and kits to those who wanted to receive training. Pillar two consisted of increasing access to on demand treatment and long-term recovery support. We worked with other community health care providers to collaborate on efforts to reduce overdose related deaths. The third pillar consisted of providing education to reduce stigma and prevent addiction. We engaged in pharmacy outreach and a social media campaign to promote overdose awareness.

The outcome consisted of 23 Enoch Pratt Public Libraries trained to provide free Naloxone training in the community. Libraries near areas of the city that face higher overdose received more Naloxone trainers. We accomplished having City Hall lit in the color purple to bring awareness to opioid related deaths. We worked with the mayor, the health commissioner, and other elected officials to issue a proclamation for International Overdose Awareness day. Overall, the Baltimore City Health Department plans to continue using the three-pillar approach to reduce opioid overdose related deaths.


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