A 2022 graduate of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health has been recognized for her work in health policy at the school, ranked as among the Top 10 public health graduate schools in the United States.
Anika Washington, who graduated this month with her MPH from the Fielding School’s Department of Health Policy and Management (HPM), was named a Public Health Impact Fellow at the school’s 2022 Student Academic Honors and Awards Ceremony. The award, which includes a stipend, stems from her achievements in the MPH program, including her work studying the healthcare needs of formerly incarcerated individuals, or FIIs.
“Prison inmates have access to medical, dental, and mental health services while incarcerated, but services stop upon their release, which can be harmful to those who rely on medication and other treatments,” Washington said. “They face a disproportionately high risk of mortality within the first two weeks of release, with the leading health-related causes of death being heart disease, cancer, and suicide.”
Washington, whose hometown is Los Angeles, graduated from Frederick K. C. Price III High School in South Los Angeles and earned her BS in Global Health in 2018 from the University of Southern California. At UCLA, she has served as an admissions student ambassador and member of the Public Health Student Association, HPM Student Association, and Students of Color for Public Health, and is an inductee into the Upsilon Phi Delta National Honor Society. She also served the department as a student representative in the Health Policy and Management Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee.
“Her achievements in the program are many, including being part of the team to win first place in the UCLA Center for Healthcare Management Case Competition,” said Dr. Julienne Jose-Chen, the Fielding School’s assistant dean for student services. “It’s this sort of commitment to excellence, while being able to communicate why and how public health is a field which can have real impacts on seemingly intractable problems, that led the evaluators to name Anika a public health impact fellow.”
The public health impact fellows are among several student honors presented by the Fielding School to honor Dr. Lester Breslow, a former dean of the Fielding School and among the first public health experts to quantify the health benefits, risks, and associations with life expectancy of exercise, diet, sleep, and smoking. Breslow’s achievement are honored by the Distinguished Lecture series and the Lester Breslow Student Fellowship Fund; his widow, Devra Breslow, attended this year’s event.