Michelle Veras’20

Last summer, I worked with patient navigators, who helped patients better manage their chronic conditions, at Jersey City Medical Center. My time with the patient navigators helped spur my interest in community relations as I witnessed how they programmed workshops specific to their patients’ needs, based on the data they collected from health surveys. For instance, patient navigators offered free nutritional workshops to teach patients with hypertension how to reduce their sodium intake, once it became clear that many of them knew very little about managing their diet. Understanding and witnessing the thought process to plan these initiatives sparked a new curiosity to learn about the patient perspective as they participated in these workshops.

As a student interested in pursuing a Master’s Degree of public health, the PrMEIR Scholars Summer Intensive Program at NYU Langone Medical center will allow me to continue my interests in community relations and patient care through extensive research on patient cases at Bellevue Hospital, one of the clinical sites. With the goal of improving patient care in mind, I can apply what I observed during my time at Jersey City Medical Center to get a comprehensive idea on patient care by researching patient case studies at another metropolitan hospital.

I am interested in learning more about community outreach, research on medical education, and administrative roles in public health fields. I love the structure of the program because there are many opportunities for the exchange of ideas and information with other project teams, during weekly meetings and workshops. This allows all 5 teams to amend their research methods to find data that optimizes patient care, based on feedback they receive from research faculty and other interns. The team-oriented nature allows for independent thinking and collective group work, which balances my needs. The weekly check-ins can help guide my research and final project, as all of the information gathered, culminates in a final presentation at the end of the 8-week program.