Coming Full Circle at APHA

January 29, 2014 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

By Meghan Ballard, MPH, RN

I was excited to attend the APHA conference in Boston, a city rich in history and great food.  Although the weather was freezing, a steamy cup of clam chowder was all that was needed after a long day at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.  Even though the days were long and tiring, there was so much to learn and experience at APHA this year (2013).

This being my second year attending APHA, I knew what to expect and I knew how to plan.  I decided to attend sessions I was interested in while also attending sessions that others found interesting.  There are so many sessions to attend that it is important to keep an open mind on what you want to hear.  Luckily, this open mind took me to a session I was not even aware of, “Come on Baby, Don’t say Maybe.”  This session discussed the importance of promoting men’s health, which I oftentimes do not think of since my focus is maternal and child health.  Another great session is one that I had always planned to attend, and it discussed health workers in areas of conflict.  There was an amazing presentation titled, “Jewish Physicians in the Ghettos and Camps During the Holocaust.”  This talk was different than most, because it discussed public health in the past instead of looking at the present and the future.  It was amazing to learn about the public health projects that took place in the ghettos, and the risks the Jewish physicians took to better their conditions.

Besides attending amazing sessions, I decided to spend a lot of time in the expo this year.  The expo was a little intimidating for me last year when I had only just begun my MPH.  But, now that I am about to graduate, I took the opportunity to visit organizations where I would like to work.  Several of these organizations gave me a list of job vacancies that I am now qualified for.  Hopefully I’ll be working for one of them and sitting at one of their booths next year when APHA is in New Orleans.

Meghan Ballard, an MCHLT Scholar, completed her MPH, with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health, in December 2013. She currently works as a pediatric nurse.

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