As a first-year M.P.H. student in the Department of Health Policy and Management, Charles Felix was looking for an opportunity to apply classroom knowledge to a real-world health policy issue in Connecticut.
Enter the Health Policy Practicum, a course designed for students to do just that. Through the course, taught by Shelley Geballe, Felix was matched with a group called Connecticut Against Gun Violence, the state’s largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization.
Felix, who also holds a law degree, felt strongly about trying to reduce gun violence in aftermath of the shooting tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Applying both his legal and his public health training, Felix has done research for the group while also learning how public health policy is enacted.
“I am currently working on a brief with another public health student that details gun violence statistics in Connecticut and the nation, as well as the social, economic and public health implications of gun violence,” he said.
The finished brief will be forwarded to state legislators to help inform the political process.
“This is an excellent example of how the system works, and how all of us with M.P.H. degrees will be working to enact change in our communities,” he said. “The Health Policy Practicum is an invaluable avenue to apply health policy knowledge in a practical context.”