Department of Public Health Sciences

Department of

Public Health Sciences

DEPARTMENT OF

Public Health Sciences

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MPH Grad Christine Pentland

 

Finding My Place within the Diversity of Public Health

As diverse as it is, from John Snow and the cholera infected Broad Street pump in the 1800's, to SARS outbreak, to increasing childhood obesity, or a public health approach to cannabis legalization, public health and its core competencies are so critical to developing prevention strategies to combat or mitigate adverse health events.

"I ultimately chose public health because I care about population health. I love that public health applies a health equity lens and considers the best evidence available to develop evidence-informed practices, policies, or programs that can be tailored and adapted to improve the health of others. Entering my Masters, I wasn't sure which stream of public health I was most interested in. Something that drew me to the MPH program at Queen's was it was all-encompassing, from policy, to epidemiology to global health. but also allowed for the opportunity to explore diverse more specific topics, like economic evaluation or chronic disease epidemiology. As it turns out, I have a strong interest in health policy!"

Christine talks about the small class sizes as another reason why she chose Queen's MPH program. This allowed for engaging class discussions, and it fostered supportive learning relationships with all of the professors, as well as being engaged with their classes and genuinely wanting to see their students thrive.  She quotes "At Queen's you're definitely not just a number!"

Christine completed her practicum at the Health and Stroke Foundation (HSF) in Ottawa.

"I was exposed to and involved in many different opportunities at HSF working across multiple teams. I gained a lot of practical public health experience and saw public health practice in action. I also worked with the Policy and Advocacy team on the tobacco plain and standardized packaging portfolio where I put together a detailed letter outlining policy recommendations that  was submitted to the Tobacco Control Directorate at Health Canada during the public consultation period. I also developed policy advocacy materials, and conducted gap analysis on HSF's Position Statement on Tobacco with proposed strategies to address the gaps. I was also able to work with the Program Evaluation and Reporting team where I conducted key informant interviews with Indigenous school community leaders and developed a brief on Indigenous school food policies. It was exciting to see this work presented at the Public Health 2017 conference in Halifax."

When asked "How do you hope to use you MPH degree in the future?" Christine answers:

"Completing my MPH degree at Queen's, equipped me with the skills, knowledge, and practical experience to secure meaningful employment. I am now working for the Canadian Public Health Association as a Project Officer. This role combines research and policy analyst responsibilities with project management. The MPH program provided me with strong research and analysis skills and how to adapt and tailor reports/products to target audiences to have the greatest impact. It also prepared me with the knowledge of how to develop practical documents to be used in the workforce, such as a policy brief, briefing note, or media release. Now that I am working, I realize how many skills Queen's MPH program provided me with. I can confidently say I felt prepared entering the field as a public health professional!"