Kathryn Leeming Flack
I realized that my passion was not delivering care, but connecting the dots between those with great need and the providers.
What is your hometown?
What is your undergraduate degree major, minor and location?
B.S. Biology, University of Virginia
I started my undergraduate career with the intention of becoming a doctor. After traveling on several medical mission trips to Honduras and subsequently working for a year working to bring dental healthcare and education to rural Honduran populations, I realized that my passion was not delivering care, but connecting the dots between those with great need and the providers. I decided to get my MPH to fuel that passion. I hope to help the underserved through improving access and affordability of health care services, advocating for healthy living, and improving quality of health care and public health initiatives.
Why did you choose WVU?
I chose WVU for several reasons. Firstly, I was offered a graduate assistantship in which I work part-time to defray the costs of education - a huge help for a young adult with a small savings account! Secondly, I was drawn to the proximity of underserved populations with extremely low health outcomes. Thirdly, I was excited to find that the faculty and staff of WVU's School of Public Health were committed to social justice and improving health outcomes for West Virginians AND those living around the world.
What does public health mean to you?
Instead of treating a patient as a health care professional would do, public health professionals solve threats to health and wellness on a population level. They often work behind the scenes, ensuring safe food and clean drinking water, increasing vaccination rates to prevent terrible illnesses, studying associations between behaviors or exposures with different diseases, fighting for health-promoting policies within governmental and private sectors, and providing behavioral interventions for those at high risks of morbidity and mortality. Public Health is holistic - many activities can work in concert to produce improved health and quality of life for all.