I AM FPHLP 2015: Lorraine Francisco

Lorraine FranciscoLorraine Francisco was part of the 2015 FPHLP cohort. She recently graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she majored in Health Care Administration & Policy. During her time in FPHLP, Lorraine worked with the University of Michigan Health System – Program for Multicultural Health (PMCH), which gave her the opportunity to design, develop, and implement educational programs in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. She also advocated for seniors by reaching out to the Michigan House of Representatives to address transportation barriers. She says, “By working with different communities, I learned the significance of culturally tailoring programs to each community’s unique needs. I witnessed interactions between several stakeholders – from behind the scenes with the administration to actually being out in the community myself. More than anything, I learned that these collaboration efforts are essential in the development of effective programs.”

As a participant, Lorraine faced her biggest challenge balancing her summer workload. In addition to her field placement and other program related activities, Lorraine was completing her McNair Scholars project and studying for the GRE. She recalls, “It was a struggle managing my time between all of my responsibilities and having fun…” The experience, however, prepared Lorraine for the decisions she would make during her senior year and while applying to grad school.

Since completing FPHLP, Lorraine was admitted to the Public Health Administration & Policy program at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. She was also accepted – and has opted to defer her admission – to participate in the CDC’s Public Health Associate Program (PHAP). For the next two years, she will be assigned to either a public health agency or nongovernmental organization in Phoenix, AZ. Lorraine’s goal is to bridge the gaps between acute care facilities and the communities they serve. Ultimately, she wants to help reduce and manage the rise of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. “Chronic diseases are a major driver of health care costs,” she explains. “Prevention and disease management are critical towards reducing this massive expenditure.”

Lorraine discovered FPHLP as she was looking for an enriching summer experience that would help to guide her through the process of applying to grad school. She feels that to be successful in the program participants should keep an open mind, be ready for a challenge, and step outside their comfort zone. Reflecting on her experience, Lorraine says, “FPHLP has been incredibly life-changing – I have met some great mentors, made lifelong friendships from all over the U.S. (and the world!), and most importantly, I learned more about myself.” She challenges current participants to take advantage of every opportunity and to learn from their fellow FPHLPers, preceptors, faculty and coordinators. “This is YOUR summer, make the best out of it!”

Lorraine Francisco