Writer with APU Alumna, Prasida Khanal
Job name: Health Services Manager at Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties, St. Paul, Minnesota
Amount earned: Master of Public Health, 2015, American Public University
What led you to Select a Master’s in Public Health?
My home country of Nepal was crushed with a decade-long Maoist insurgency, political instability, poverty and a humanitarian crisis. These were tough times for many Nepali families like us, that lost a loved one, or were persecuted or exiled. Amid the chaos, I had been lucky to be given a scholarship to study dentistry in a few of the most respected universities in Nepal, the B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences. I was employed as a community dentist in rural and underserved areas. While I realized that I could enhance the dental health status of my people, there was always the possibility that they’d return to a home without water or sanitation. Within my job in Nepal, there were diarrhea epidemics and women who died during childbirth. These issues invited me to take steps forward to improve the health of the general public. I feel blessed to have joined APU to help make my dreams a reality.
Inform us about your current position.
I work as a health services supervisor at Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washing Counties at St. Paul, Minnesota. I use a varied group of specialists to plan and execute health services for Head Start facilities. I also make sure that the delivery of healthcare meets the performance criteria according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Has education consistently been a priority?
Education has always been a priority for me personally. It makes a foundation for understanding and enhancing human rights and gender equality. It makes a ripple effect of chance that influences generations to come. I had been born and brought up in a state where many women still endure severe disadvantages and grief in education approaches. Despite strong cultural standards favoring boys’ schooling in my own country, my parents always made education a topmost priority for me personally. Education has been a priority for me personally since it attracts a vast assortment of benefits, not just for the women themselves but also for their children and their communities, in addition to society at large concerning economic growth.
How do you use what you learned at APU on your current location?
The instruction and experiences I gained at APU, along with my deep desire for people health service, gave me the tools needed to turn into a health professional supervisor. There was not any way to understand that just months after my graduation, I’d be putting my expertise and abilities to the evaluation. The public health education I got helped me realize our interdependence and work through synergistic alliance. The program prepared me to take on a leadership stance while I coordinated health services like dental, vision and hearing screenings for the children of low-income families. Aside from managing tools, APU’s integrated program encouraged me to consider steps to educate others on disease prevention through health promotion and community involvement.
What inspired you to be a winner for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment?
I obtained the U.N. Volunteer Award in 2013, which provided considerable opportunities for me to be involved with multiple Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) jobs. Global Community Champions for Women’s Economic Empowerment are chosen by the U.N. Women Headquarters in New York. The more I worked for the disadvantaged women and women in Nepal, the more I understood that WEE keeps women focused on research instead of hunger. I used and witnessed the effect of the employment programs that enable women to dream of a life that’s different from the life span of their moms. This was the moment that women’s empowerment became my calling.
My volunteer work with the U.N. Women motivated me to advance the discussion and debate on WEE. WEE directly impacts women’s choices and opportunities in life pertaining to their own health, education, employment and economy. There are quite a few opportunities and challenges in the path of women’s financial empowerment. The entire economy continues on the backbone of outstanding work performed by most of the women. I have been driven to produce this research visible for policymaking purposes, for equality and equity. If you are not visible as a employee, then you’re not visible in the distribution of advantages. What girls do is absolutely crucial to the survival and sustainability of their family. If women are economically empowered, there’ll be a greater chance that they will be valued for what they’re doing.
Have your studies at APU assisted in transferring your aims ahead?
I’m looking forward at the many opportunities and possibilities I can achieve with my level. I had been the recipient of the President’s Award in 2015 and I graduated with honors. These recognitions have prompted me to establish”Rebuilding Health” in Nepal. This nonprofit is based on the version I developed for the dissertation. It functions on improving community health through public-private venture and community participation for sustainable wellbeing outcomes. Moving ahead, I will be working towards the revitalization of Primary Health Care through the Community Diagnosis Program. Through preliminary proof, I have discovered that this version is feasible and can tackle the”grand challenges” of integrated community health services, particularly in developing countries. I sincerely invite my fellow peers to support emerging and developing nations as well as their health challenges through knowledge and partnerships. It’s a world that awaits your science and your ethics, your ideas and your ideals.
What are some key pieces of advice that you would pass on to someone new to online learning?
It just fits! Online learning demands persistence and perseverance. These challenges are temporary and with practice and time, learners will flourish.
What was your favorite thing about online education?
The convenience and how it fit in with my daily life.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I work together with my team at Rebuilding Health, and it is a non profit which I found in Nepal. We foster public-private partnership and encourage community involvement for sustainable wellbeing outcomes. I also volunteer with the United Nations and multiple nonprofits. Additionally, I spend some time creating ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. More than simply putting flowers in a container, ikebana is a disciplined art form where nature and humanity are brought together. It is amazing to stay silent during practices of ikebana. I believe it as a time to appreciate things in nature that we frequently overlook because of our busy lifestyles.
Online education is not a one size fits all, but it is a great chance for those seeking to maximize their knowledge in current areas of experience, or to examine new paths for expansion. Our student profile series will give a face and personality to our dedicated online learners at the university. Interested in learning more about your online education options? Explore our schools and programs at APU.