MPH students build roads to equitable health care in rural communities

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Liz Mariluz and Elena Soyer, Health Services Master of Public Health (MPH) students, engaged with rural communities through their practicums. Practicum projects are a field-based experience with a public health organization required for our MPH degrees.

Liz Mariluz

Mariluz’s practicum focused on infections in hospitals. On any given day in the U.S., about 1 in 31 hospital patients will experience a health care-associated infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tracking and preventing these types of infections is critical for health care facilities.

“I really want to understand the different ways we can address health inequities and overall make the health care system an easier space to work in and navigate as an individual.”

— Liz Mariluz

Elena Soyer

Soyer’s practicum focused on transportation in rural Washington state. Having reliable transportation is critical to seeking care at a hospital, but in rural areas with low ridership, public transit is rarely an option. That’s why health care facilities in rural areas across Washington state have been brainstorming how to get their patients to non-emergency appointments.

“Being able to get from point A to point B is such an important piece of getting to live your best and healthy life.”

— Elena Soyer

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