Where Are They Now?
Molly Berkery, JD/MPH ‘11, is working on her MPH, while also finishing up her final law courses. She is also working with the law school and SMPH on creating a formal JD/MPH dual degree (to be established by 2012/13). Since January 2010 she has worked as a Legal Intern/Compliance Analyst at UWHC Legal and Compliance Departments. Her interest is in public health law generally, emergency preparedness and disaster relief, and health law administration.
Gerald “Jerry” Elliot, PharmD ‘11 is in his 4th year and is considering a post graduate hospital residency. Jerry did an internship at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzer-land where he started a publication on how comorbidities influence disability in geriatric populations in select lower income countries. He writes “The CPP definitely influenced my decision to do the WHO rotation because it gave me a real perspective on the status of public health in this country and made me want to do something about the inequality I observed among the poor, uneducated, and chronically ill. This encouraged me to educate myself about the status of public health systems in other countries and how they compare to the US. The best part about the WHO experience was similar to what I experienced at the CPP: meeting people who were truly passionate about righting the social inequality that predominates in most of the world, and knowing that they really are making a difference.”
Alex Hartzman, CHA ’10, MPA ’12, MPH ’12, was the first recipient of the Ina Jo Rosenberg and Shiri Eve Leah Gumbiner Fellowship at the LaFollette School of Public Affairs. After completing the Center’s Capstone Certificate in Consumer Health Advocacy, he enrolled in the dual master program in Public Health and Public Affairs. Hartzman reports that his experience with the Center gave him a new understanding of the challenges individuals face as they negotiate the health care system: “a systems approach is not all that meaningful without understanding the patients’ perspective.” Hartzman has been using this perspective in his role as an associate in the Improving Healthcare Systems program at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) since 2013. PCORI is a non-profit which funds comparative effectiveness research to generate evidence to inform patient and other stakeholder decisions by incorporating them into study formulation, design, conduct, and dissemination.
Raisa Koltun, PharmD ’06, MPH ’09, former Patient Advocacy Supervisor, is currently completing a population health fellowship in Milwaukee and focusing on social justice issues, as they relate to health outcomes. She is working on projects that build civic capacity to advocate for policy and social change in the Latino community of Milwaukee.
Andrew Love, CHA ‘10, is currently studying Hospital Administration at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He also works part-time in Rush’s 50 bed inpatient rehab hospital as an assistant to the Chief Administrator. Andrew is working on a pilot project called the Enhanced Discharge Planning Program (EDPP). A facet of the Patient Centered Medical Home, EDPP is a computer program that flags patients at high risk of readmission based on a number of factors, so social workers can contact them directly after discharge. Social workers then help patients with various issues, connecting them with community resources and ensuring they are reconnected with their primary care physicians. Andrew works with an economist measuring the outcomes of the study and comparing the EDPP to other programs to compare efficacy and cost-benefit for hospitals. As a future hospital administrator, Andrew hopes to implement programs to help hospitals ensure their patients do not “fall through the cracks” after discharge. Andrew says his experience at the Center for Patient Partnerships gave him the foundation to approach projects like these, and to see the essential need to support patients during the most vulnerable time of their lives.
Clare O’Connor, MPH ’10, MD ‘14 is now in her first year of medical school. She reports that her experiences and knowledge gained from CPP will be incorporated in how she practices public health and medicine. “Learning advocacy in an applied, interdisciplinary setting has been a truly valuable experience for me. I feel better prepared to advocate for future patients and feel confident that I have the skills to approach complex systemic issues as they arise in my career.”
Melissa Stiles, PharmD ’10 works as a staff pharmacist at Vernon Memorial Hospital, Viroqua, WI. Melissa studied at the Center as a clerkship requirement for her pharmacy degree. She reports: “My training and experiences at the Center enabled me to be a better pharmacist. I am able to provide cardiac rehab patients with resources to find health insurance and options for prescription assistance programs and better assist the caregivers of our hospice patients.”
Holly Thomas, MSW ’07 is working as a clinical social worker at the UW Health Family Medicine Clinic in Eau Claire. Part of her job is working with family medicine residents to teach them skills they will use in their own practice. “I use the patient advocacy skills I learned at the CPP almost daily as I teach residents how to connect patients to community resources and navigate the healthcare system.”
How are you using advocacy skills in your practice? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.