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International Health

Mariya Patwa, MSPH '18

Mariya PatwaMariya is a 2018 graduate of the Health Systems Program in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Current job
Research Coordinator, Harvard Medical School, Department of Psychiatry at the Cambridge Health Alliance

Job description/PhD focus
Following my MSPH degree, I have been working as a research coordinator with the Children’s Health Initiative and Biobehavioral Family Studies Lab teams based at the Cambridge Health Alliance, a public safety-net hospital system in the Boston area. I work alongside social workers, patient navigators, researchers and physicians on two primary studies: (1) Enhancing Systems of Care: Supporting Families and Youth Outcomes, a SAMHSA-funded study focused on implementing a collaborative practice model for integrative pediatric care, and (2) the Mothering and Infant Stress Study, focused on maternal-infant stress and attachment behaviors.

Additionally, I am serving as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors for Our Bodies Ourselves, a women’s reproductive and sexual health non-profit organization.

How does the MSPH in Health Systems degree help you in your career?
The MSPH from the Health Systems Program program helped me develop the skills required to mediate between my clinical and public health spheres.

I am constantly drawing on the invaluable skills I gained during my practicum at an operational research clinic site in Johannesburg, South Africa. My practicum focused on the integration of safer conception services into primary care for people affected by HIV, which combined my clinical, systems development and research interests.  

Academic advice to prospective students
Initially, I found it helpful to list the top three to five skills and content areas I was most interested in gaining in order to narrow down the options available and manage a well-balanced schedule. In my field work and current positions, I find myself constantly referring back to the technical skills I gained in methodology courses offered at the Bloomberg School.

It is important to reach out to advisors and professors to expand your knowledge of—and potentially participate in—the projects happening in the field. Equally important: taking advantage of the amazing fellow colleagues and classmates around you! The Bloomberg School attracts talented folks from all over the world—the time you spend here is a great way to be inspired and learn from your peers.