Celia Sawyerr (MPP '22) spent the summer of 2021 working at Direct Relief, which "works in the U.S. and internationally to equip doctors and nurses with life-saving medical resources to care for the world’s most vulnerable people." The organization recently wrote about her research on its website. Her internship involved looking at health issues affecting immigrants from African countries, which was an appropriate pursuit for her academic interest, including "how data can be used to improve the lives of marginalized communities."
After conducting interviews with four federally qualified health centers in Houston, Texas, Washington, D.C., and The Bronx, New York., her key research finding was that "improving the health outcomes of African migrants in the U.S. largely depends on how comfortable they feel seeking out health services."
To combat barriers to care, Sawyerr offers a range of solutions including installing community fridges in public spaces, van shuttles to grocery stores, and signing people up for federally-subsidized internet to lower the costs of telemedicine. “Health centers that tailor their services to the specific needs of this population will be the most successful in connecting with and improving the well-being of their African patients,” she wrote.
Direct Relief recently posted her Story Map on its website.
You can see the Direct Relief article here.