MPH Students Named Leaders in Public Health

Two University of Montana public health graduate students have been named Student Leaders in Public Health by the Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center.  Abbie Phillip and Alexandria Albers have both been awarded $3500 stipends to assist with their public health field work.

Abbie Phillip is a MPH student based in Butte, MT.  Abbie’s project is a collaboration with a team of researchers under Dr. Raja Nagisetty at Montana Technological University and the Montana INBRE Project.  The project’s goal is to characterize and measure changes in environmental health perceptions among residents of Butte, MT related to the impact of past and present mining activities on drinking water, air quality, and soils. The study team seeks to learn how targeted health communications affect these perceptions. The findings from their work will be used to develop recommendations for more effective communication strategies for sharing risk-based information and influencing health behaviors in the community.

Alexandria Albers is a second year graduate student in the MPH - Community Health and Prevention Sciences program. In collaboration with Dr. Sophia Newcomer and the University of Montana Center for Population Health Research, Alexandria is leading a statewide survey to investigate clinicians’ perceptions of and experiences with routine childhood immunizations, COVID-19 vaccines for current age eligible populations, and future COVID vaccine rollout for younger kids. The survey will be sent to all primary care providers in Montana, and the results will be used to inform future implementation strategies to increase vaccination rates in Montana.

The goal of the Student Leaders in Public Health program is to enhance the public health workforce in the Rocky Mountain region, specifically in underserved communities and populations.  The program supports students conducting applied public health projects and provides opportunities for mentoring and professional development.  The program is funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.