In Focus: Shaanan Meyerstein, MD '13
What made you choose Hofstra University’s MPH program?
As a Resident within the North Shore-LIJ Health system, I’m familiar with Hofstra University’s reputation in the health field and I knew I was interested in pursuing a degree in public health. I met with program director, Dr. Corinne Kyriacou, to learn about the curriculum and to discuss how I could feasibly complete the program around my schedule at Cohen Children’s Medical Center. She was very friendly, enthusiastic, kind, and willing to work with my residency time constraints, enabling me to take classes in a distance-learning format. We created an individual learning program so I could complete the program successfully while still adhering to the core curriculum.
Describe your experience working and studying with faculty in the Department of Health Professions.
Dr. Kyriacou and the other faculty are extremely accommodating and are certainly leaders in the field. I’ve found that they value having a variety of perspectives in the classroom, including mine as a medical professional. They share my belief that public health is an extremely interdisciplinary field and I look forward to further collaborating in the classroom and in future projects beyond the MPH program.
Tell us about your internship with the Children’s Health Fund.
I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work with Irwin Redlender, founder of the Children’s Health Fund, which is a non-profit organization in Harlem that provides Pediatric primary care nationally and directs efforts at lobbying on behalf of child health issues in Washington, DC. I have a particular interest in immigrant child health issues and this internship allowed me to further study barriers to health access for this at risk population. During my time at CHF, I was also able to assist with the writing of a policy paper discussing current health issues and policy and legislation affecting immigrant children in the US.
What are your goals for the future?
Immediately following the completion of my MPH, I will be moving to Botswana with my wife to participate in the Pediatric Global Health Corps run by Baylor University and Texas Children’s Hospital. As a program participant, I will be working with HIV-infected children in a clinic setting and doing HIV education in remote parts of the country.
Tell us about your collaboration with the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.
As part of the Cohen Children’s Medical Center Global Health Track, we have developed a partnership with a small rural community in the Dominican Republic comprised of Haitian Migrant sugarcane workers. Over the last two years, Pediatric residents and medical students have traveled to the community to study the health issues of Haitian workers. In particular, they have focused on preventative care and education regarding nutrition, hygiene and sanitation. Hofstra medical students spent two weeks studying hypertension trends and causes, prevalence and treatment of diarrheal illness, breastfeeding practices and social barriers to accessing medical care. We are in the process of coordinating a similar experience for Hofstra MPH students.
To read more about the project in the Dominican Republic please visit:
Read more about the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine Visit: http://www.northshorelij.com/NSLIJ/summer-research.
Advice to future studentsWhen considering a master’s program in public health, the opportunity to study in the greater New York area is very unique and it is important to take advantage of the amazing things happening right outside the classroom to apply the theory to practice. The Hofstra MPH faculty have extensive and diverse backgrounds in different areas of public health and are able to facilitate wonderful opportunities because of their experience and professional connections. This can be one of the most interesting aspects of the program. I encourage all students thinking about pursuing an MPH to seek out these experiences and to look for mentors in faculty members who have similar interests.