UCLA School of Public Health Field Studies Program

Community Health Sciences

Field Placement: Orange County Health Care Agency, Family Health Division
Santa Ana, CA
Troy Jacobs, MD, MPH
Student Name: Joanne Wei
Year: 2005

Project Title: Perinatal Periods of Risk Assessment for Orange County, 1999-2002

My internship was with the Orange County Health Care Agency, Family Health Division, from June through September 2005. I conducted a Perinatal Periods of Risk (PPOR) assessment for Orange County using combined birth cohorts from 1999-2002. PPOR was used in order to identify disparities in birth outcomes among different population groups within the county, and to focus prevention efforts in those areas. I worked with an epidemiologist, using Excel and SPSS, to do univariate and multivariate analyses of the birth cohorts. I also did literature searches on causes of infant health deaths and perinatal health to better understand the risk factors involved. Finally, I did two slideshow presentations, one for the monthly meeting of program managers in the Family Health Division, and the other, for the “Works in Progress” meeting, attended mostly by epidemiologists and representatives from Quality Control. The PPOR tables and results, some of which were compiled into a summary report, will be incorporated into the annual reports produced by the health care agency. It provides the framework for which to evaluate and improve maternal child-health services and policies, and prevent adverse perinatal outcomes with the county.

My preceptor, Dr. Troy Jacobs, was the Division Medical Director with an MPH in epidemiology. He was very generous with his time—in addition to our regularly scheduled meetings, he would take the time to discuss any problems I was having. He was interested in my progress and supported me in pursuing a work plan that I would find interesting as well. From our talks, I learned about perinatal and maternal health, and discovered how important it was to understand the clinical background in order to direct public health efforts. I enjoyed my time at the agency, and would recommend other students to intern there as well.


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