Yang Jiaxin at Sunshine Action
Concentration of Study
Health Economics Policy and Management (HEPM)
MPH Degree Mode and Graduation Year
1. Describe your practicum.
During the internship, I was mainly responsible for follow-up “Parents Day - Buddha's Birthday - Dragon Boat Festival” fortune bags project, my job involves contacting the donor to count the food, contacting donors and beneficiaries, using Excel tables to display the addresses and email addresses of the recipients, and finally counting the food quantity. Conduct a summary report of this event eventually.
For “Homeless and street-sleepers” project, my work involves visit homeless people, to observe their living environment, and understand their living goods needs. Conduct a need assessment report of street-sleepers eventually.
For “long-term food support” project, I am mainly responsible for volunteer registration, to coordinate distribution activities, to understand the delivery process and mechanism of S.A, and propose improvement suggestion. Besides, I need to do design case initial assessment questionnaire, to collect important information, to evaluate new cases effectively. Conduct a health need assessment report of Ta Ku Ling Kei Lok community association eventually.
For “congenital heart disease” project, my main work is project preparation, including information collection and sorting. During the practicum, I also need to administer the S.A Website, organize the previous pictures of the website, and update each event with the official Weibo campaign. In addition, I need to create new ideas relevant to mass public health that match with S.A charitable principal and identify internal and external challenges to organization’s delivery system. Conduct a strategy report for improvement of S.A daily necessities delivery mechanism eventually.
2. Why did you choose your practicum organization/ practicum project?
When I visited the S.A website, there is a saying that fascinates me. This sentence is "S.A is the smallest but most powerful charity in the world". And I learned that this organization believe every person has the right to enjoy happiness regardless of the race, religion, gender. S.A are hoping to reduce the suffering in the poorest areas in different channels through direct support like providing rice, packed food, medicines and daily products to the needy families. Besides, S.A have not limitations on the type of final cases, with the main priority as low-income or poor families, covering from street children, elderly, single parents, HIV or AIDS patients, cancer patients, leprosy patients, and many others severely sick patients, homeless and street sleepers, widows, jobless and so on. S.A has several mass programs like (long-term food support; Homeless and street-sleepers; World food day) which aim to benefit low-income cases in different countries. Therefore, these projects and the spirit of S.A attracted me.
I started searching for the practicum site after semester 1 of my first year. I found Mediva through internet and started contacting in following May. I completed my practicum during the winter holiday after the first semester of my second year.
3. What was the most rewarding part of your practicum?
The most rewarding part for me is to learn how to conduct demand analysis of recipients including how to design a demand questionnaire. And how to communicate with the recipients and street-sleepers and learn how to ask the question correctly and reasonably without touching the moral question in the demand survey.
It was not easy to make the plan possibly acceptable and worthwhile to the disadvantaged population yet feasible to Mediva’s business.
However, I feel I achieved it and by achieving this, I feel I acquired a hint to my challenge of bridging public health and business. Also the perspective I suggested to Mediva was unique as it involved much of public health essences which business professionals do not necessarily have. It was rewarding that Mediva members appreciated my viewpoint.
4. What skills did you gain as a result of your practicum?
Questionnaire design skills
Data analysis skills.
Demand analysis skill
5. How can you see your practicum helping with your future career in public health?
I think that the operation of S.A provides me with an important opportunity to do my best to help people in need, and to create opportunities for me to truly see how people living below the poverty line live. I can find problems in the process of practice, ask questions, integrate knowledge applications such as health economics and public health policies into real cases, and solve problems. The completion of the health needs analysis report allows me to really combine the knowledge and practice of public health that I have learned. Especially in the analysis of health needs, I learned how to analyze the personal situation of the recipients more comprehensively, how to design the survey questionnaire to be simple and clear, and how to better avoid sensitive issues. In addition, I will also learn one-on-one interview techniques.
6. Do you have any advice for future practicum students?
The internship experience in S.A is very valuable and meaningful. During the internship, students will have the experience of going out and carrying donated goods. Hard work is inevitable, and you have a lot of responsibilities, not as easy as you might think. Students need shoulder this responsibility and students will gain a lot of happiness because you help a lot of people in need of help.