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Public Health in Your Own Terms: Mavis Coffman

Mavis Coffman

Class: Senior
Department: Public Health-BHS

Q: How would you define Public Health in your own terms?

A: Public health means ensuring the health of a whole community. It means looking at the most vulnerable populations and figuring out how what they need. It means working to eliminate health disparities and ensure equal opportunity to live a healthy life.

Q: How did you become interested in Public Health? (Was there a specific person or event that sparked your interest?)

A: In my training to become an RSVP Peer Educator Dr. Deborah Hume spoke to my class about her public health research on human trafficking. It was the first time I considered that violence prevention is public health. This opened up my eyes as to how public health is involved in everything.

Q: Why did you choose MU to continue your academic career?

A: MU and Columbia have an amazing community of activists who are doing great work and making a difference in their community. A lot of important work is happening here and I love being a part of that movement.

Q: What doors will your degree in Public Health open for you? (What will you be able to do with this degree?)

A: A public health degree will allow me to work in developing public policy to make everyone healthier. It will let me learn how to make effective and inclusive programs and policies to work in my community.

Q: Tell me more about your goal in Public Health. (Access to healthcare;  re-framing the US approach to care; maternal and child health issue)

A: My public health goal is to provide everyone with access to health care. I want to learn about and try to overcome barriers for marginalized populations to receive care.