Student Spotlight: How is Alexis Chavez building MCH knowledge and skills through her work and online MCH?

#UMNMCH student Alexis Chavez (she/her) (MPH 2022) wrote this reflection on how her role as one of the co-editors of the National MCH Trainee Blog has contributed to her Maternal and Child Health (MCH) knowledge base. In this piece, Alexis shares how her editorial work with MCH students incorporates skills presented in MCH Competencies and the L.I.F.E Framework Model.

Background

My journey in public health, now with a concentration in MCH, stems from my passion for pursuing a career in health care, specifically for the pediatric and family populations. The innocence and brightness of children are what have shaped my desire to become a person a child can depend on, inspiring my ultimate dream of becoming a pediatrician. My goal is to be an empathetic and compassionate caregiver that provides genuine care for people. During my undergraduate studies, I pursued a major in Public Health which taught me the values of promoting health, preventing illness, and overall improving the quality of life for people. Upon graduating, I wanted to continue to learn and grow as an individual before applying to medical school. I wanted to further my education in the population I hope to care for someday and become a well-rounded advocate for them. I chose to pursue an online MPH in MCH because it was the perfect opportunity to deepen my knowledge, while still having the flexibility to engage in different opportunities and obtain more hands-on experience with maternal, child, and family populations.

About the MCH National Trainee Blog

The student-led National MCH Trainee Blog is hosted by the University of Minnesota (UMN) Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health in partnership with the University at Albany MCH Public Health Catalyst Program. The blog provides an outlet for MCH students affiliated with the HRSA-funded Centers of Excellence (COE) in MCH Education, Science, and Practice Programs or Catalyst Programs to share their MCH related work and experiences. The purpose is to help provide MCH students an opportunity to share their experiences on a national online community, create a professional product for the public, and better connect with fellow MCH trainees across the nation.

MCH Blog Editor

As a UMN trainee, I currently serve as the blog’s primary editor collaborating with a co-editor trainee from Albany to lead and maintain the blog. My deployment as one of the co-editors primarily focuses on the leadership aspect of the L.I.F.E Framework Model. To run this site with my co-editor from Albany, we have acted as main sources of contact with all related blog work, maintain strong communication with each other and our teams, and lead and help facilitate our team meetings. 

One of my main tasks as co-editor is to contact and select student authors to feature every month. Once authors are chosen, we work with them to showcase their MCH related work that reflects one of the MCH core competencies. After the author submits their piece, we review and revise their work with them as needed. Through this collaborative work, I am communicating with other MCH students across the nation and learning about different skills and core competencies these students have obtained from their involvement with their communities. Being a co-editor has allowed me to work and engage with other MCH students remotely, allowing me to also deepen my MCH leadership competencies by learning from their work as well. 

Along with communication and technical editing, I have also had the opportunity to strengthen my leadership skills with navigating and continuing to develop a national site. I have participated in work with publishing student pieces, updating the site as needed, documenting and reporting site statistics, and promoting the work on social media platforms, UMN’s monthly MCH eNewsletters, program directors, and more!

Interested in Being a Blog Student Author?

Students who are enrolled or recently graduated from either the HRSA-funded CoEs or Catalyst Programs who have participated in MCH work are invited to contribute to the blog. Typically, students are nominated by their program directors, but if MCH students or recent graduates from one of the HRSA-funded programs are interested in writing a piece, they may contact mchlead1@gmail.com. 

See this flyer and FAQ page for more information. 

Biography

Alexis Chavez is a full-time-online-second year MCH MPH student minoring in Health Equity and Health Services Research, Policy, and Administration. At the University of Arizona she earned her Bachelor of Science degree with honors distinction in Public Health with an emphasis in Health Promotion and minor in Health and Human Values. Along with being one of the co-editors for the MCH Trainee Blog, she also works as a medical scribe and office receptionist at Respiratory and Valley Fever Clinic. Alexis will also be pursuing her Applied Practice Experience this Spring 2022 semester with the Eyes on Learning organization. She plans to graduate this Spring and intends to continue her pursuit of becoming a pediatrician and applying to medical school. 

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