Christina R. Hanna, MPH
Population Health Service Fellow
AIDS/HIV Program, Division of Public Health
When did you being your Fellowship?
Where is your Fellowship?
My Fellowship placement is located at
the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Bureau
of Communicable Diseases and Emergency Response, AIDS/HIV Program
What were you up to prior to your
I had a three year gap between
undergraduate and graduate school. I spent two years teaching English in South
Korea after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After my time
in South Korea, I moved to Michigan where I had a number of things going on
including an internship for the Michigan HIV/AIDS Drug Assistance Program at
the Michigan Department of Community Health. Then I completed my MPH at the
University of Michigan School of Public Health before beginning the Fellowship.
What inspired you to take the
Fellowship route rather than a different type of job/school/etc.?
I applied to the Fellowship because
it provided me with an opportunity to explore my options and experience
different approaches to public health which I felt would help me figure out
what I wanted to pursue and accomplish. The fellowship has provided me with
this opportunity, as well as the flexibility to explore my interests and gain
additional skills as a young public health professional.
What are your main areas of interest
within public health?
Sexual and reproductive health;
women’s health, social justice, health equity, family and community health
issues related to birth and incarceration issues, and community health and
What is one thing (or many!) that you
are working on right now in your fellowship?
A: I’m in a transitional phase right
now, just wrapping up some big projects and starting new projects. I am
finishing up a qualitative evaluation on the Linkage to Care Program (pilot
program that provides assistance with linkage and retention to medical care for
HIV positive individuals) in which I conducted client interviews on their
experiences with the program. Results from the evaluation may impact future
program implementation and best practices for HIV service providers.
I’m just starting a project with the
Department of Public Instruction (DPI) on their In School Pregnancy/Parenting
Interventions, Resources, and Education (InSPIRE) grant in which I’m currently
developing needs assessment tools for use by the school districts and DPI.
I’m also working on a couple of
projects with the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health. I’m assisting them
with the planning of the 2014 Wisconsin Women’s Health Policy Summit by
developing materials for the event as well as assisting with logistical
planning issues when needed. I’m also working with the WAWH to disseminate the
results of the evaluation of the Wisconsin Adolescent Health Care Communication
Program as a promising practice.
Do you read a public health
journal/blog/website regularly? If so, what?
I receive Department of Health and
Human Service newsletters from the Office of Minority Health and the Office of
Adolescent Health. I also follow the blog of an MPH classmate and
friend who writes about living with Type 1 Diabetes (http://www.typeonederful.com/).
What is one public health achievement
you would like to see in the next 25 years?
I would like to see a shift in how
mental health is addressed and to decrease the stigma of having a mental health
issue and seeking treatment for one. Stigma prevents many people
from acknowledging they are having trouble dealing with life challenges or a
known mental health issue. Mental health issues not only affect the daily
functioning of the individual, but having a mental health concern makes it more
difficult to manage other health issues. I believe that poor mental health is
strongly connected to challenges people face in terms of other health issues
like obesity, addiction, and the well-being that comes from social and
emotional connections with other people. By addressing mental health in a
holistic manner, we could see an improvement, not only in individual and
community health, but also in social and economic wealth.