Hello, my name is Yu-Hsuan (Emily) Chen and I’m a first-year Masters of Public Health student studying Health Informatics and Health Information Management. I joined the UW Timothy A. DeRouen Center for Global Oral Health team after applying through the School of Public Health website. Participating in the Children’s HIV Oral Manifestations Project (CHOMP) allows me to gain new experiences working with an international team and helping manage a database.
Path to Public Health
Before attending UW, as an undergrad, I didn’t have a set goal for my career. I knew I was interested in health and science, so I decided to major in Biology until I discovered Public Health. Through the coursework in Public Health, I learned about health disparities and how people may experience a greater burden of disease, violence, and injury due to their identity. Even for people with access to care, the nature of the system’s complexity and segmentation can influence patient health outcomes and satisfaction. Knowing that technology could be one of the many solutions to solve these current health-related challenges, I decided to pursue an MPH in Health Informatics and Health Information Management.
Through the Public Health courses, I learned that public health is not just about the knowledge obtained in class, but really experiencing what is out there. I spent a summer in South Korea and two months traveling around Western Europe and Scandinavia. These experiences helped me see people in a multidimensional way, become more accepting of their cultures, and gain tolerance for uncertainty.
With my public health background and traveling experiences, I have a strong desire to work in a different county or join a global project — and the DeRouen Center team allows me to do so. I am excited about the progress of this research project and how the research will improve the lives of children in Kenya. After I graduate, I’m planning on either working in Seattle or Europe. No matter where I go, I’m determined to work in the healthcare field and continue to learn.