In this episode, Sujani sits down with McKenzie Schrank to discuss how her experience with leishmaniasis influenced her path, incorporating personal interests into public health and vice versa, and using every little experience to shape your journey.
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- How McKenzie first discovered the field of public health
- McKenzie’s experience contracting leishmaniasis on a study abroad trip and how this experience shaped her education and career path
- Health communication is the cornerstone of public health
- How snowboarding has made McKenzie a better public health professional
- Integrating your passions with public health and how McKenzie is incorporating public health into snowboarding and vice versa
- Making your own space in public health
I earned my Master of Public Health at the Colorado School of Public Health in community and behavioral health and global health. I believe in strengthening communities by engaging community members with clear communication and connection and I hope to continue to foster positive change in health communication.
I have previously worked with the Peruvian population during a study abroad to the Madre de Dios region in 2017. From this experience I found a passion for working with and providing information to under resourced communities after contracting leishmaniasis during this trip. I took the experience of being infected as an opportunity to share my experience and educate future travelers about the difficulty of treating a neglected tropical disease and the risk of infection. Additionally, I used this opportunity to highlight inequalities in the healthcare system in regard to cost and access. My published manuscript entitled “Leishmaniasis Through the Lens of the Host” won a King Award of Academic Excellence for its innovative and creative additions to the existing body of knowledge on leishmaniasis. The insight I gained from these experiences prepared me with compassion and enthusiasm for the communications work I am currently doing.