My name is Alexandria Whitted, and I am from Chadbourn, North Carolina. I am a passionate and charismatic young woman pursuing a Master of Public Health degree in Global Health Program Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation with an additional certificate in Sex, Sexuality, and Gender. In 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, I became a first-generation college graduate from East Carolina University with Bachelors degrees in Public Health: Community Health and African and African American Studies. Most notably, in 2016, I was among the final cohort of Gates Millennium Scholars and I am an inaugural research fellow for the Boston University’s Center for Antiracism.
Janisse Mitchell, MPH is currently a student in the Doctor of Health Sciences program at Eastern Virginia Medical School (Class of 2021). She earned her Master of Public Health, Management and Policy degree from EVMS and Bachelor of Science degrees in both Public Health and Kinesiology from Shenandoah University. While attending graduate school, Janisse had the opportunity to visit the country of Moldova and assist them with making recommendations for a national Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey. She started her career as a fitness trainer, then worked as a Health Educator for over five years, and is currently a Senior Program Manager. She is a passionate Public Health Professional with years of experience in communication, customer service, research, health content writing, and data analysis. Janisse is a disease prevention and management advocate who seeks to improve others’ health while helping to improve access to healthcare services. Interview by Janisse Mitchell, MPH I had the pleasure of interviewing LaTonya R. Bynum, MPH, CHES for the Effective Information Technology for Healthcare Organizations course offered in the Doctorate in Health Science program at the University. Ms. Bynum is the founder and CEO at Utilize Research for Access (URA) Resource Center, LLC. As Ms. Bynum stated, she provides tailored resources to support communities using no-cost publicly accessible and secure systems to exchange health information to professionals, consultants, and government contractors. I was interested in interviewing her for several reasons. She has over 20 years’ experience in Health Information Technology, is an app developer, serves as a consultant, and has over 12 years’ experience as a Senior Analyst-Software Support Analyst working at the department of health. I also learned that she is a Technical editor that explains high-level thinking from the data and breaks it down into plain language for clients. Ms. Bynum started her career as a secretary to get her foot in the door at the department of health and discovered her passion for public health. Her areas of focus were needs assessment, statistics, and epidemiology. Later, she was promoted to the Senior Research Analyst position, where she found that two tools would help her in most in her career, the geographic information system, and SAS. Throughout her career, she has done numerous things such as managing program data, surveys like BRFSS, GIS maps, tracking obesity for each state, and analyzing retail sales for tobacco. She learned SAS with her mentors’ help and understood how to use the software effectively in her research. Ms. Bynum was able to use her experiences to guide others on practically using the tool. She recommends those learning SAS to use common sense and think of the statistics as real people. She stated that when you have tools and resources to dissect the data and visualize the trend, the data becomes more powerful. A major takeaway is to tell a story with the data. Moreover, Ms.Bynum noted that GIS is one of the most impactful tools she has used because she can explain the data to people on the map. She can draft out the map to show people where their community is regarding their health status and health ranking. Since Ms. Bynum is an app developer, I was interested in understanding her perspective on smartphone applications playing in healthcare. She believes that smartphones are changing how people access information and what types of info are now accessible. More developers and creators of apps like hers should consolidate all the information. They can give people the basics while giving people the foundational knowledge to learn more about certain topics. She also shared how privacy is becoming more and more important and how training employees to protect their privacy is vital. She mentioned that most people do not focus on it until something happens to them. She requires the volunteers at her organization is to take the HIPPA privacy training as part of the onboarding process. She feels like it is a priority to protect the information of those who use her app. I learned that the two most important things that help to innovate her business were the app with study tips for Health Educators and writing skills to publish books. In terms of social media, it is important to look at metrics to make informed decisions such as engagements, interactions, and comments. One comment I found particularly interesting is that she finds that the government vets the information more and is slower to sharing information publicly than the private sector. I learned from her that information should be accessible and user-friendly. Lastly, she feels that IT professionals should work smarter and not harder. Technology is about scaling things so you can work smarter! To connect with Janisse Mitchell, visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janissenmitchell/ To […]