Carmen Mitchell, a doctoral student in the School of Public Health and Information Sciences’ Department of Health Management & Systems Sciences, was selected as the winner of the AcademyHealth Disparities Interest Group’s first student op-ed contest. These editorial submissions could be on any health disparities topic with a focus on specific causes or consequences of disparities and/or solutions with the most potential to reduce disparities.
As the winner, Mitchell received free registration for the AcademyHealth 2019 Annual Research Meeting, a certificate of recognition, and her op-ed has been published on the Health Affairs Blog and shared with interest group meeting attendees.
“Carmen is the epitome of a model PhD student and this is quite an honor within our health services research profession. We’re proud of her accomplishment and believe she is a great representation of the school and our department,” said Chris Johnson, PhD, chair, Department of Health Management and Systems Sciences.
Mitchell discovered the contest while browsing through social media. A few weeks prior to discovering the contest, she had her first-ever op-ed submission published on Insider Higher Ed, so she decided to go for this one as well.
Health disparities is a focus of Mitchell’s and something she feels very passionate about. She explained that through her own experience with disparities, whether through research, the classroom, or just talking to people, she finds that sometimes the conversation can stay surface-level.
“If people don’t have a deeper understanding of the root causes of health that go beyond some of the high-level factors (like income), and it can especially be tricky to talk about ways where our own societal systems are actually contributing to those problems (whether intentionally designed to or not). I think if we can have more of those discussions, it can help us move forward in research, policy and intervention designs.”
Mitchell said she was shocked to learn she won and feels honored to have her op-ed published in Health Affairs while representing SPHIS and HMSS.
“While I am very honored, I know these are not new ideas and I’m very grateful to all the scholars—both inside and outside of public health—who have been uplifting these ideas for a long time. Most importantly though, I just hope it can help push the conversation forward a little more,” she said.
Read her editorial on the Health Affairs Blog.