"I found the Faculty of Health Sciences to be a supportive learning environment during my undergraduate studies, and I felt that it was a space where I could continue to grow. I was also drawn to SFU because of the MPH program’s structure."

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Student Profile: Georgia Hume

March 03, 2022
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master's student in the Faculty of Health Sciences

I am currently a Master of Public Health (MPH) candidate in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Before this, I completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree at SFU with a major in Health Sciences and a minor in Anthropology. While completing my undergraduate degree, I became interested in maternal health from a Medical Anthropology course I took that focused on the medicalization of childbirth. Learning about disparities in birth outcomes made me realize that this was the area I wanted to focus on. I entered the MPH program with this focus in mind.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

There were a few reasons I chose to pursue my graduate degree at SFU. I found the Faculty of Health Sciences to be a supportive learning environment during my undergraduate studies, and I felt that it was a space where I could continue to grow. I was also drawn to SFU because of the MPH program’s structure. The program offers a range of courses that explore many different areas of public health while also granting me the flexibility to focus my studies on my specific interests.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

The MPH program at SFU has provided me with a foundation for understanding the health of both individuals and populations. A person's health is often viewed as the byproduct of their individual choices and behaviours. However, the broader social and economic conditions can be an even more significant predictor of our health outcomes. Whether it is a neighbourhood's infrastructure or an individual's in-utero exposure to chemicals, much of our health is influenced by factors outside our immediate control. The MPH program emphasizes the upstream approaches to improving health, which I think is valuable. The program has also provided me with the professional skills necessary to make an impact in the field of public health, and it did this by emphasizing group learning and interdisciplinary collaboration.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

A highlight of my degree was my practicum placement with Perinatal Services BC, where I obtained hands-on experience working in maternal health. During this placement, my most significant contributions revolved around two key initiatives. The first was assisting in developing a Maternity Services Strategy, which aims to promote high quality & accessible maternity services in BC. My role involved engaging stakeholders who have direct ties to these services and identifying barriers that exist when accessing prenatal education in the province. The second involved developing an evaluation plan of their Home Birth Supplies Program, which provides supplies, medications, and sterilization services to care providers. The goal of the evaluation was to assess the program’s strengths and weaknesses and make suggestions for improvements, where necessary.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

At the start of my graduate degree, I was awarded the Faculty of Health Sciences Graduate Entrance Scholarship. More recently, I was awarded the Janes Corbett Faculty and Staff Community Health Practice Graduate Award in Health Science.

 

Contact : ghume@sfu.ca

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