2017 PFIG Recipient Richard Froese

Richard Froese – June 12th, 2017

Erich Froese

2017 PFIG Winner
Erich Froese
Major: Global Public Health/Psychology
UVA 2019

Internship: San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, San Antonio, TX

Read about my internship

Journal Entry #1

In just four short days, I have already found an immense sense of comfort and happiness in my position at the San Antonio Metro Health District. Not only do I enjoy the downtown location in the heart of the city, but the work has already been deeply rewarding. I cannot imagine spending my summer doing anything else, and I am grateful that I was offered the opportunity to gain experience in a field that I love.

The San Antonio Metro Health District is the public health agency charged with promoting healthy behaviors, preventing illness and disease, and creating the most favorable health conditions for communities in the greater San Antonio and Bexar County areas. The team is comprised of professionals in epidemiology, health equity, and disease prevention who work together to achieve the goal of a healthier city. The commitment of these staff members is unparalleled, and I feel greatly humbled to work with them in achieving this goal.

My first week at Metro Health was packed with events. On top of attending an American Heart Association conference and a collaborative council meeting to combat diabetes in San Antonio, I met with many program managers from Metro Health to discuss some of the projects I will be completing throughout the summer. I work most closely with my internship supervisor, Kathy Shields, who is the program manager spearheading many of the efforts to decrease chronic disease throughout San Antonio. By working in the programs that fall under her specialty, I hope to learn more about preventing such diseases. Whether it be through attending meetings or actively engaging with the community, it is truly rewarding to know that I have the opportunity to help improve the city’s health through my own contributions. In the near future, I will have a role in the development of a health education program, which will allow me to convey my passion for public health. A few of the other projects are related to health marketing, diabetes prevention, and health equity.

It has been fascinating to see topics I have explored in an academic setting come to life in the professional world. One such topic is the emphasis on collaboration, which is utilized in public health to address the needs of a diverse community. A unique aspect of Metro Health is the extent to which collaboration is brought to the forefront. For almost every project, Metro Health has formed alliances with universities, hospitals, and businesses to create strategies that will be more comprehensive in combating disease. I have had the opportunity to meet physicians and healthcare professionals, as well as CEOs and worksite wellness individuals who are all devoted to promoting the city’s health. Moreover, by working with the health equity manager, I have seen how social justice and cultural sensitivity actually play a role in public health. With a population of over 1.5 million people, it is critical to understand how culture and demography intersect with public health needs. With each experience I have at Metro Health, my understanding of public health is strengthened.

I can only say that I am ecstatic for the remainder of my internship. 

Journal Entry #2

more information coming soon...

Journal Entry #3

more information coming soon...