Fall 2020
Greetings MSHP Community,

We are sorry not to be writing under better circumstances this fall, and hope that this message finds you and your loved ones well and safe. Fall classes began in early September, with first-years beginning their methods and statistics sequences, and second-years diving into a course on the fundamentals of health policy. Faculty have worked hard to adapt to an online format and to weave important themes of racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion into their curricula.

In the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic, extrajudicial killings of Black and Brown Americans, rise in violence and discrimination against Asian Americans, and atrocities committed against immigrants at our southern border, we believe that the activism, advocacy, and research of our students is more essential than ever. We are working in concert with PSOM Master's programs to create a joint-curriculum on anti-racism and implicit bias training. We are committed to continuing to build a stronger, more inclusive community, united against injustice.
For Your Consideration
Here are some books, podcasts, publications, and projects that we have been contemplating:

  • Nice White Parents - From NY Times Serial, a five-part podcast diving into the history of one Brooklyn Middle School
  • Code Switch - A podcast featuring fearless conversations about race from NPR
  • Chandra L. Ford's seminal piece, Critical Race Theory, Race Equity and Public Health
  • Alumna Mical Raz's piece in the Washington Post on what COVID is revealing about shortcomings in our health systems
  • The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez
  • Fatal Invention by Dorothy Roberts, an examination in how the myth of a biological difference in race has undermined our society
  • How to Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú
  • Bold Solutions, a new initiative housed across Schools and Centers dedicated to dismantling racism and advancing health. Led by a team of top researchers, including MSHP alumna Raina Merchant, MD, MSHP, Bold Solutions will foster and support new scientific inquiries aimed at finding solutions to the problems of institutional, structural, and interpersonal racism.
  • Feeling inspired? Apply for an LDI Pilot Grant to conduct anti-racist research.
MSHP Application Open for 2021-2023 Cohort
The application to join the 2021-2023 MSHP Cohort is open from now until November 30, 2020. Help us recruit and engage the next generation of health policy researchers and advocates! If you know of a fellow or medical student who would be a good fit for our program, please send them our way! More information on the application process can be found here. Questions can be directed to Kat at mshp@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.
Students and Alumni in the News
What's next for COVID 19? Along with 5 other experts, alumna Meghan Lane-Fall, MD, MSHP weighed in for the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Though there might be enough ventilators, some hospitals may have trouble finding room to keep contagious patients isolated. Back in the spring, hospitals in the Penn system set up tents to streamline patient intake, but that could be a tough sell during colder months", she cautioned. Read more here.

Following federal Judge Stickman's decision to strike down PA Governor Wolfe's order to limit gathering sizes and close certain business, second-year Katie Auriemma, MD wrote an op-ed with Hatem Abdallah and Austin Kilaru, MD, MSHP. In it, they defend Governor Wolfe's decision. "We all want the pandemic to end. We want to revitalize the economy and get back to normal. That can only happen when public health-- and not politics-- guides our leaders". Read more.
Select Current Student Research
Current second-years and NCSP Fellows Laura Sinko, PhD and Shoshana Aronowitz, PhD teamed up with a group of nurses across the country to publish an editorial in Public Health Nursing, titled Nursing work is justice Work: Rethinking justice and promoting healing in survivors of gender‐based violence. " Nursing's understanding of holistic individual and population health positions us to be leaders and valuable interdisciplinary team members as we work to recognize the needs of survivors and communities and build effective and equitable survivor justice systems."
Select Alumni Publications
Alumnus George Dalembert, MD, MSHP had his MSHP thesis published in Academic Pediatrics. His thesis work explores perspectives of urban adolescent black males and Their parents on well care. The study found that families and their adolescent children valued preventative care, and intended to make appointments and receive it, but may not prioritize it "in the context of competing obligations".Read more.

Alumni Kate Courtright, MD, MSHP and Joanna Hart, MD, MSHP co-authored a piece on the increased need for family-centered care during the era of COVID-19. "Large-scale disasters intensify stressors and basic human needs to feel safe, connected, calm, useful, and hopeful. Yet, infectious disease outbreaks make proximity dangerous". Read more.