Emma Hynes was a Population Health Service Fellow from 2011 through 2013 with dual placements at the Wisconsin Division of Public Health and the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health. Prior to the Fellowship, she earned a BS in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with certificates in Global Cultures, Women & Gender Studies, European Studies, and Leadership. She continued on to graduate school at UW-Madison where she earned an MPH from the School of Medicine & Public Health, an MPA from the La Follette School of Public Affairs, and a graduate certificate in Consumer Health Advocacy.
Emma has already achieved quite a lot in the first few years of her career including writing and publishing numerous reports and papers, organizing and running 300+ person health policy conferences, writing and receiving grants, coordinating an evidence-based teen educator program, and creating a preconception health website for providers and patients. In the last six months, through her role at the WI Council on Children and Families (WCCF), she has repeatedly been quoted as a health policy expert in Wisconsin newspapers and was recently cited as one of Madison's "biggest brains" and was asked to share her ideas for how to improve health care coverage in 2014. Despite all these accolades, Emma feels that her biggest achievement thus far has been creating jobs that she finds to be meaningful and that allow her to work with people that she admires, respects, and can learn from every day.
Emma currently holds two very different public health roles in Madison. She works part-time as a Health Policy Analyst with the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families (WCCF) assisting with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Wisconsin. Emma provides technical assistance and works collaboratively with diverse stakeholders (advocates, government partners, hospitals, providers and others) to ensure that Wisconsin children and families are getting the best possible support, guidance, and coverage available to them. She also works part-time as a Policy Associate and Program Manager with the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health where she runs the Wisconsin Adolescent Health Care Communication Program that helps bridge the communication gap between youth and health care providers. In addition, Emma also teaches youth and adult yoga, which she considers to be her 'clinical practice' of public health.
In addition to Emma’s busy professional life, she also has big plans in her personal life. She will leave in early February 2014 to go to Costa Rica, where her fiancé and she will be getting married surrounded by family and friends. After the wedding, they will travel to Tokyo and then on to Southeast Asia for an extended honeymoon adventure. She hasn’t decided where to end up after her sojourn, but the wonderful public health community in Madison is certainly a compelling argument to move back!
Emma has some great advice for current and prospective Fellows: “Don't be shy about what you want to learn and work on. Don't get trapped doing only the things you're already good at. Find a good balance of things you do well and things that you're just trying out to see how they fit. You'll probably never have as good of an opportunity to learn and to fail - which is a great way to learn more about yourself. Also, be sure to take advantage of all of the resources around you as a fellow - the program director and organizers, your preceptors, the power of the university, etc - everyone around you wants to see you succeed and they are always there to give you direction when you need it and to offer a leg up when you need a boost. It's your time, make it meaningful, and don't wait for someone else to do it for you - only you can make it great!”
By far the most valuable thing Emma did as a Fellow was meet people. She went out of her way to introduce herself to everyone she met in her field (and out) and to make the connections needed to help her in the next phase of her career. The second most valuable thing she did as a fellow was diversify her experience, but also find a couple of things to truly become an expert in - both breadth and depth are powerful tools! She suggests both! She knows with certainty that the Fellowship directly led to the development of her public health skills and gave her the opportunity and experience needed to do the work she currently enjoys. Emma has said on more than one occasion that she wouldn't be where she is without having been a Population Health Service Fellow.