#UMNMCH student Amanda Moses (she/her/hers) (MPH 2023) wrote this reflection on how her career, internships, and MCHIG executive board position have all contributed to her career in MCH.
I started my career in the social work and public health sectors as a youth and family advocate at a local Minnesota nonprofit, Tubman, which transitioned into a role that brought me to middle and high schools, teaching a healthy relationships curriculum that focused on empathy, social justice, and community resource engagement. I also took on a role at Tubman under a state grant that focused on pushing forth policy and a positive shift in public opinion about survivors of sex trafficking. From here, I realized the potential for policy change, particularly with MCH populations, and started researching a professional path forward. Social work and public health combined both my interests and lived experiences. I’m motivated by my children and the community around me to have a hand in policy and look forward to finding a professional role after graduation.
Presently, I am a qualitative research intern at Planned Parenthood. I am working on a project focused on patient-provider relationships. I’m interviewing BIPOC birthing people to understand their experiences and what cultivates a trusting, respectful relationship with their reproductive health care providers. The target audience for this study is those who have had an abortion in the last two years. The goal of this project is to disseminate information about patient experiences and offer best practices to providers both in and outside of Planned Parenthood North and Central States.
During my internship at Planned Parenthood, I continually remember the MCH leadership competencies that instilled in me the importance of health equity and how cultural competency is never achieved; rather, it is ongoing and fluid. No patient experience is alike, and by conducting interviews, I have an opportunity to reflect on participant experiences and provide direct, meaningful feedback and practice implications for clinicians that go beyond a survey.
LEAP Pediatric and Clinical Care
LEAP Pediatric and Clinical Care is a local nonprofit pediatric and adolescent health clinic in Saint Paul, MN, focused on advancing health equity and removing barriers to health and wellness among pediatric children and youth. The clinic employs a model of health that promotes social support as a critical component of healthy child and youth development. I am working as a community health intern, supporting the implementation of a rapid needs assessment along the Green Line light rail train in Saint Paul, MN. I am also generating a resource inventory for the clinic and conducting outreach in the community in order to establish the clinic as a responsive community asset and familiar resource.
MCHIG: Reproductive Justice Book Club
I am the facilitator for the Maternal and Child Health Interest Group’s Reproductive Justice Book Club, working with leaders in MCH at the UMN to cultivate meaningful dialogue with public health students, outside of a formal academic setting. This semester our focus is on the tenets of reproductive justice: the right to have a child, the right to not have a child, and the right to parent. Through planning and facilitating these discussions, I have the privilege of hearing about others’ experiences working within these tenets as researchers, providers, policymakers, and more. I hope to eventually be able to frame my profession as an advocate for each of these tenets.
Amanda is a full-time third-year MCH MPH/MSW student. Her background is in social services working with families and children. She also does birth work as a doula and received her bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Currently, she is working on social science research, largely focusing on Black peoples’ experiences with reproductive health care services. In her spare time, she enjoys going on adventures with her daughters, Charlotte (11) and Elouise (4). Upon graduation, she is pursuing a career in mental health that will work directly with MCH populations. Above all else, she is determined to find a role that is both fulfilling and fine with playing second fiddle to her most important role: mom.
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