Anne (Harrell) Spicer received her master’s of Public Health degree with a concentration in Health Promotion from UofL’s School of Public Health and Information Sciences in 2013.
She is now a health operations program manager at Apple, the largest company in the world. UofL News recently caught up with Spicer to reflect back on her time at SPHIS and to learn her advice for future public health leaders.
UofL News: How did you get interested in this field?
Spicer: When I first started at UofL, I was in the Speed School, interested in pursuing a degree in bioengineering. I decided early on that I was more interested in the biology aspect of the degree and switched my major to focus on cellular and molecular biology. Throughout my program, I learned that I wanted to work in the health field but knew that medicine was not for me. It was not until my junior year that I learned about SPHIS and the MPH degree. Once I learned about it, I knew that was what I wanted to study. I was drawn to the idea of being able to focus on the health of a population and incorporating scientific methods to encourage safe and healthy environments at a population level.
UofL News: What positions did you hold during and/or prior to SPHIS?
Spicer: Throughout my undergraduate time at UofL, my primary roles were in scientific labs. I worked as a lab tech in a psychology lab and a biology lab. During my master’s program at SPHIS, I transitioned to non-profit and government jobs, working with the YMCA and Louisville Metro Dept. of Public Health & Wellness. I completed my practicum with the National Park Service, focusing on public safety in the Cape Cod National Seashore.
UofL News: What did you do after SPHIS?
Spicer: I started at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health as an epidemiologist supporting the School-Based Healthcare program. It was there that I learned a love for healthcare administration. From there, I worked at Kaiser Permanente as a data analyst and program manager before landing in my current role at Apple where I have been for the past four years.
UofL News: In what ways do you think your SPHIS degree aided you in securing past positions and prepared you for your current role?
Spicer: What I value most from my time at SPHIS, aside from the relationships that I made and deep knowledge base, was the introduction to the idea that public health extends into a wide range of opportunities in the workforce.
UofL News: Help us give readers an idea of what you do day-to-day.
Spicer: In my role, I focus on healthcare operations and administration in a corporate wellness setting. Every day looks different for me, but I work with clinicians and operations management every day to define and implement programs that support wellness for Apple employees and their families.
UofL News: What advice would you give new students just beginning their public health journey?
Spicer: Explore non-traditional public health options as our degree and expertise translates extremely well into so many, potentially nonobvious settings.
UofL News: What advice would you give a student getting ready to graduate with a public health degree?
Spicer: It may take time to understand and identify where you want to go with your career and degree and that’s ok! Learn from all of the opportunities you are given as you may identify areas of interest outside of your specific MPH concentration.
UofL News: Anything else you would like to add?
Spicer: The field of public health is constantly evolving to meet the needs of our local, national and international communities. I’m honored to be a member of the SPHIS alumni and to contribute to the field in any small way that I can!
Interview conducted and story written by Paige Wills, communications and marketing manager at SPHIS.