Hi! My name is Alison Wong and I hail from Sacramento, CA. I graduated with a B.S. in Public Health and a minor in Global Health from the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) in 2018.
The year following graduation, I uprooted from California and moved across the country for my first service year with NHC Chicago. Intrigued by my public health studies in undergrad, I decided I wanted hands-on experience in order to better understand underserved communities facing disproportionate rates of health disparities.
Through my first service year I was able to gain experiences, skills, and anecdotes related to public health and social justice. A non-exhaustive list includes motivational interviewing, effective communication and feedback, trauma-informed care, and antiracist and anti-oppressive approaches to health care. I served Chicago Public School students through health coaching and health education, including nutrition, sexual health, physical activity, mental health, and sleep hygiene.
Halfway through my first service year, we had to quickly adapt to a virtual service setting. Through the many unexpected realities, I learned about the importance of community support, power of connection, and resilience. With the unpredictable future, I decided to stay a second service year with NHC to continue growing, learning, and serving as much as I can for my community in Chicago.
From my experiences with NHC in community and population health, I have discovered a need to tackle public health issues with an upstream approach. In Fall 2021, I'm looking forward to pursuing my Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) in Health Policy at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health!
This blog post was written by NHC Chicago 2020-2021 member Alison Wong.
Alison is a Health Educator at Heartland Health Center - Kilmer/Sullivan.