A family of ducks I encountered on a recent lunch break kayaking trip!

A family of ducks I encountered on a recent lunch break kayaking trip!

Although I certainly did not see us doing remote practicums when I committed to come to Gillings in March 2020, I continue to try to find the silver linings in things being remote. One of my favorite silver linings is being able to prioritize being outside with family and friends, this also helps keep me motivated and energized when it comes to my practicum work.

My name is Sydney McIntire and I am a rising second year MPH Student in the Global Health Concentration. I am originally from Bradford, Vermont, where I am doing my remote practicum work this week. My background is in Community and International Development and the projects that I previously worked on have focused on nutrition and agriculture with primary school aged youth. Going into the MPH program I knew that I wanted to shift towards maternal and child health, so I am very excited to be working with UNC and Kybele on the Making Every Baby Count Initiative 2.0. MEBCI 2.0 is working towards improving advanced newborn care in four tertiary hospitals in Ghana by using quality improvement, systems thinking, and implementation strategies. These strategies are used to work on systems strengthening of healthcare facilities in which interventions to reduce neonatal mortality will eventually be implemented. During my practicum I’ll be working to create PowerPoint slides and a training manual for the quality improvement foundational training for staff at the four high referral tertiary hospitals.

The neighborhood cows and sunset after finishing up work on 6/4!

The neighborhood cows and sunset after finishing up work on 6/4!

I have always wanted to work in an organization that utilizes systems thinking so I am really excited that my practicum combines this with a focus on maternal and child health, it feels like the perfect match. My preceptor is a Gillings alum and it’s great to have someone who understands that position we are in and is dedicated to making it a mutually beneficial experience. I’m also looking forward to just having the opportunity to apply the skills we have begun to learn in classroom settings to real-world settings.

Here’s to always trying to find the silver linings

Sydney