November 2023 Student Spotlight
In this month’s student spotlight, Kimori Du discusses her internship at the NYC Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene, her dream job of hospital administrator, her MPA experience at Marxe, and more.
What got you interested in health care and public health?
My personal experiences have been a great influence on me and my career path in healthcare and public health. More specifically, my family’s negative experiences with the health care system has steered me to pursue this path. My mother is a single parent to seven children and also worked full-time. Throughout high school, I remember doctors’ visits becoming less and less frequent in my household. There was one time after a visit with our pediatrician where I saw her writing two checks to the receptionist, one for the visit and one for the vaccinations we received. At the time, I wondered why she paid out of pocket instead of giving them the insurance cards I have seen in the past. As I got older, I realized that although we qualified for Medicaid, coverage was inconsistent. Medicaid needed to be renewed yearly and my mom did not have time and needed assistance; the language barrier was also another obstacle. The difficulty of navigating the U.S. health system forced her into a dead end; it was simply more feasible for her to halt all physician visits than to renew Medicaid coverage, unless they were extremely urgent or required for school. There are very limited resources for her and many other families in the same position. Based on this experience, one of my broader career goals is to reduce barriers to healthcare coverage in underserved communities. My personal experience has been the central driving force in trying to reach this goal.
What is your dream job?
My dream job is to become a hospital administrator. I believe working in this field will be impactful to assist underserved populations. Some responsibilities of a hospital administrator include patient care, ensuring quality care, delivering efficient care, implementing hospital policies, etc. I would be in a position that can impact individual lives, as well as the general hospital sector. While I realize this position might not be especially hands-on, I would still be able to provide the support and resources these vulnerable communities need to improve their health outcomes. There is a lot of work to be done and being a hospital administrator will provide me with the necessary tools to do so.
What are you learning in the MPA track at the Marxe School?
The courses I have taken in the MPA track have all been quite rewarding. The courses are interesting and I learn something new every semester. I appreciate the range of classes the Marxe School has to offer. I have mainly taken elective courses in the Health Policy and Public Management concentration. In other classes, I have learned about strategic planning and how completing smaller objectives can help achieve a greater goal; and how to use a four-frame model for organizational change. One of the most impactful courses was “PAF 9710: Health and Health Care” with Professor Kronebusch. There was a unit Professor Kronebusch presented about the eligible but uninsured population in America. I learned that this issue persisted for over 7 million Americans who qualify for Medicaid but are still uninsured for a variety of reasons. Being able to relate my personal experience to this healthcare issue has inspired me to focus on this specific area of the healthcare realm and provided me with even more motivation.
Tell us about your experience as an intern in the public health internship program at the NYC Deptartment of Health.
My experience as an intern in the public health internship program at the NYC DOHMH has been incredible so far! I am an intern with the Contracts unit in the Mental Hygiene Division. The internship has been a genuine learning experience for me and I have also been able to apply some of the material I learned in the classroom to the work I do. Some of my responsibilities include data collection, data maintenance, and assisting in streamlining financial reporting. The DOHMH acts as a passthrough funding agency, where we provide services to nonprofits all over the five boroughs and I have a role in facilitating these funds to the providers. The internship is very hands-on, which has allowed me to gain practical experience in contract management and other administrative duties. I am eager to learn even more, and I am very grateful this internship taught me new skills that I can apply to future positions.