Stefanie Furlan

Stefanie is a South Florida native. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Florida, and will complete her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree and Master of Public Health degree from Nova Southeastern University in May of 2014. She is pursuing an internal medicine residency, with the intention of becoming a cardiologist. Stefanie has joined the Florida Institute for Health Innovation to gain insight about public health research, and to assist FIHI with projects involving healthcare of vulnerable populations in Florida.

Renee Henry

Reneé Henry, originally from Kingston, Jamaica, is a senior at Florida Atlantic University. She will graduate in the spring of 2014, with a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in health administration. Renee spent most of her college years volunteering in hospitals, pediatric offices, and nonprofit organizations, this is where she began showing interest in public health. This has furthered her desire to become an advocate and strong voice for both children and disadvantaged populations, both in the United States and abroad. She has spent time working in small communities in Nicaragua and is hoping to gain more experience and knowledge by interning with Florida Public Health Institute on issues that effect our health, environment, and community.

Jennifer Huntington

Jennifer attended the University of Florida as an Animal Science major and also for her veterinary degree. She graduated in 1998 and practiced as an associate veterinarian for four years prior to joining the U.S. Army as a Captain in the Veterinary Corps. Jennifer was stationed at NAS Pensacola and Camp Doha/Arifjan Kuwait. After three years in service, she joined a national veterinary practice as a Medical Director and later purchased a veterinary practice in Virginia. After selling the practice she moved to West Palm Beach, Florida to practice as an associate veterinarian. She is also currently in the process of obtaining a Masters of Public Health through the University of Florida and plans on graduating at the end of 2014, hoping to pursue a career in public health.

FIHI Interns 2012-2013

Nova Southeastern University

Picture from left: Seiha Kim, Lauren Westafer, Kris Kline

FIHI engaged three DO/MPH interns from Nova Southeastern University to assist in the planning process for a Healthy Communities Summit in Miami in late 2013. In its role as a neutral convener, FIHI plans to provide a forum for diverse stakeholders to explore the connection between South Florida’s high housing foreclosure rate and community mental health. Neighborhoods with a high number of vacant foreclosed homes are often plagued by increased drug use and criminal activity resulting in chronic environmental stress that impacts the community’s social determinants of health. In addition, increased levels of anxiety and depression are found in individuals and families experiencing foreclosure. Key topics for the conference will include: changes in public safety (including walkability) and criminal activity; depression, anxiety, mood disorders, ADHD and parenting behavior.

The interns completed scans of Florida housing foreclosure data and research regarding the behavioral health effects of housing foreclosure, conducted informant interviews with Palm Beach County Health Department and Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County leaders, and presented their findings to members of the Palm Beach County Community Health NETwork. In addition, the interns explored content presented at Healthy Communities conferences throughout the U.S. to develop an agenda for the 2013 summit.

Florida Housing Foreclosure Crisis: What is the Mental Health Impact?

University of Miami

VanessaHarrysinghIn 2012, University of Miami MPH capstone student, Vanessa Harrysingh, DDS, MPH, worked closely with Dr. Fox and Dr. King to design and conduct a survey to assess the current state of dental education and training offered to four specialty residencies in Florida – Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology. She analyzed survey results and produced the report, “Assessment of Oral Health Training in Four Specialty Primary Care Residency Programs in Florida.”

The results showed that more of 50% of the programs that responded spent less than two hours in lectures or workshops on oral health training; 75% do not have a formal collaborative relationship with an oral health expert and 95% of the residencies do not use the DentaQuest-funded Smiles for Life training modules.

Dr. Harrysingh provided four recommendations for primary care residencies which included 1) integrating oral health education into medical education 2) establishing collaborative relationships between residencies and oral health experts 3) assessing residents’ oral health knowledge prior to graduation 4) ensuring that residents are aware of and utilize the online educational tool, Smiles for Life.

Read Dr. Harrysingh’s report here: Assessment of Oral Health Training in Four Specialty Primary Care Residency Programs in Florida