During my Princeternship, I had the chance to spend the day shadowing the Director of Education at the National Hemophilia Foundation, Ayana Woods ’98. This extraordinary opportunity was filled with numerous conversations with her colleagues and herself regarding the nature of their work and any lessons they learned in their career paths.
Throughout the day my fellow Princetern and I learned about the work that Ayana does to further the ‘Steps for Living’ website that educates those suffering with hemophilia. Learning about all the initiatives and efforts that go into producing a website of that magnitude helped me gain a better understanding of the educational component to public health.
Ayana also set up meetings for us with many of her colleagues so that we could learn from each department in the organization. Furthermore, I had the chance to discuss public policy regarding the coverage of hemophilia medication by health insurance companies. I was also able to gain a better understanding of the efforts and measures taken by the National Hemophilia Foundation to implement and utilize new scientific research in their advocacy, education, and policy efforts. Lastly, I was able to learn about the structure of a national foundation and its relation to its chapters across the country.
Overall, I found the experience to be incredibly rewarding and eye opening. It was a great chance to be able to speak with people who work so hard on matters related to public health at the national level. I was able to explore both my career and academic interests. Lastly, this helped me better realize that I fully intend to work with different advocacy groups during my time as a physician. I am so thankful to Ayana Woods and all of the great people at the National Hemophilia Foundation for their care and conversation during my Princeternship!