Yacine Fall 01/14/2021
This was a dense and exciting week at the health department. I came into Monday thinking I would get my meeting done then have a draft of my recommendation completed. The week required more flexibility and challengers me to think critically about my plan. I got to meet with staff representing both the grant side and the data analysis branches of the health department. I got to learn more about the challenges that some of the staff encounters when it comes to evaluating programs. One of the most shocking things I learned was how low the markers were for the CDC when it comes to some of their evaluation markers. The pandemic seems to have exacerbated this. Because of the stark health disparities in communities, it seems that the CDC is looking for immediate solutions to the health disparities and their plan is more flexible. I hope that I can make an argument for how the reliance on community understanding of their own needs during the pandemic should motivate the allowance for community-backed MCH programs at large. Partnership is fueled by trust and VTs health department has a chance of building these relationships if they can learn how to better support Heath initiatives the community needs.
One of the highlights this week was scheduling a meeting with three people who spoke about their global health experiences in Maternal and child health. Experiences ranged from the ministry of health work in Kenya to studying indigenous Heath perspectives in the Amazon given climate change. It was wonderful being able to engage with people on community organizing and the need to decolonize global health. Time is never enough so I will use this as a preliminary connection and continue to engage with them on the ways they were able to support the wellbeing of women and children around the world. Looking forward, the biggest challenge I have is how do I use the honest feedback I have received and report back on it in a constructive way.