Student Spotlight: How is Lexie Adams assessing the needs of Hennepin County residents?

#UMNMCH student Lexie Adams (MPH 2021) wrote this reflection on how her deployments at Hennepin County have contributed to her career in maternal and child health.


My passion lies with creating more opportunities for the generations of children to come, than those that exist today.  Children are extremely vulnerable and perceptive to the environments that surround them, without a single choice on the situation. I believe that every child should have the same opportunity for good health, no matter what challenges they have faced in life. In order to help children, women and families also need support – a healthy child requires a healthy support system.  Reaching the entire support system will allow for greater chance of advancing health for women, children and families. These are the reasons I chose an MPH in MCH and decided to pursue deployments at Hennepin County Public Health.  

Hennepin County Public Health

At the beginning of my first year in the MCH program, I started a deployment at Hennepin County Public Health on the Assessment team. Throughout this deployment, I analyzed data from the Minnesota Student Survey and created presentations for different school districts who needed this data. I learned a lot of new skills from this deployment and started really enjoying data analysis because of the story that data tells. I realized why data is crucial for creating and adapting programs that truly benefit communities.

This past school year, I was lucky enough to have a deployment with Hennepin County Public Health on the Assessment team again. This time I was able to work on a Community Health Assessment (CHA) for Hennepin County. A CHA is an in-depth process that has a lot of working parts, I’ve realized. The process started by identifying health indicators. Having experience with the Minnesota Student Survey allowed me to have a broad mindset on what was actually going on in Hennepin County and where health improvements were needed. Once we had our indicator list, we started entering the data which included Minnesota Student Survey data. Working with this data in multiple different ways helped me recognize the various ways data can be utilized to benefit communities. Next up was completing cost estimates for each indicator in order to then start scoring these indicators. Throughout the process of working on this CHA, I’ve appreciated how helpful and trustworthy my supervisor has been. I have learned so much throughout this process and can owe that to how my supervisor has worked with me. She provided insight where necessary and space for me to learn on my own when that was necessary. This deployment has highlighted how everything in public health really is interconnected and working with an array of public health professionals can be extremely beneficial.

Lexie Adams is a second year MCH MPH student minoring in Health Equity. Her background includes a B.S in Community Health Education – Public Health from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse where she minored in Nutrition. She currently works at the Minnesota Department of Health as a Student Analyst analyzing data on vulnerable adults in Minnesota. Lexie looks forward to utilizing her knowledge and experience in maternal and child health as she continues her career in public health.

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