For Minna Yoshikawa ’14, working in public health is a way to combine her interests in the humanities and natural sciences. Since graduating from Haverford, she has been working at the New York AIDS Institute, which is part of the state’s Department of Health. The organization is responsible for disease surveillance, prevention, health care, and support services for people impacted by HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases, viral hepatitis, and related concerns.
Yoshikawa, a biology major, says her interdisciplinary approach to medicine was fostered through the college-organized hospice volunteer program and her freshman writing seminar, “Medical Narratives,” with Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing Sue Benston.
As a program assistant in the Office of the Medical Director (Haverford alumnus Bruce Agins ’75), Yoshikawa is working with health care providers to coordinate projects that aim to improve the quality of care for patients with HIV in New York. These projects involve collecting and analyzing data about clinic viral load suppression rates, helping clinics assess their systems and implement quality improvement projects, and organizing meetings for clinics to learn from each other. One of her long-term projects is a “best practices” manual for health care providers that will showcase the techniques clinics are using to increase their viral load suppression rates.
“The healthcare providers and patients I’ve met are incredibly passionate and working hard to accomplish their goals,” Yoshikawa says. “It’s exciting to be someone who can help them get where they want to get with their projects.”
—Sam Fox ’14