Erikka Loftfield - New York
Internship location: New York, N.Y.
Career goal: Pursue a Ph.D. in epidemiology and a career in academic research
I was a New York City Epi Scholar along with 10 other students from M.P.H. and Ph.D. programs at Johns Hopkins, the University of North Carolina and Columbia. I worked on analyzing data from the Heart Follow-Up Study, which is the evaluation tool of the Sodium Reduction Initiative. As a member of the research team for the Nutrition Strategy Program in the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention, I completed a literature review on fruit and vegetable intake and potassium, conducted analyses using SAS and SUDAAN software, attended bureau staff and journal club meetings, and worked on several papers for journal publication. I also participated in HRTP and Epi Scholar workshops and health disparities seminars.
Value of experience:
I had full access to the wealth of expertise and data that the NYC Department of Health has to offer. The NYC DOHMH is a unique public health agency because of its law-making ability, progressive leadership and the diverse urban population that it serves. As a student interested in nutritional and social epidemiology, the data I worked with from the Community Health Survey Heart Follow Study provided me with the opportunity to analyze nutritional biomarkers in the context of socioeconomic status and access to fresh produce. In addition, the Epi Scholar program provided me with invaluable learning opportunities including a trip to Riker’s Island and a day with Dr. Ana Diez-Roux, one of the best known social epidemiologists today.
Working closely with an experienced epidemiologist on a study aimed at promoting life-saving policy was an incredible experience. Everyday I felt like I was helping to promote a healthier NYC.
Erikka Loftfield, New York City
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New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene office at Gotham Center in Long Island City, N.Y.
The start of a typical morning at the Department of Health: Coffee and SAS.
The Epi Scholars’ summer project presentation was on potassium intake in relation to social determinants and access to produce in New York City.
The Epi Scholars’ summer project presentation was on potassium intake in relation to social determinants and access to produce in New York City. A video conference call between Epi Scholars in New York and Los Angeles.
A video conference call between Epi Scholars in New York and Los Angeles. The fifth cohort of the New York City’s Epi Scholars Program.
I spent most of my summer in the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention analyzing data from the Heart Follow-Up Study.
The view of Manhattan from the ninth floor of Gotham Center.
The Health Research Training Program held a health disparities seminar series on Wednesday mornings.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s summer barbecue for the city’s interns.
Although the New York Mets game was rained out, I enjoyed a pint and a hotdog with my fellow Epi Scholars.
Taking advantage of the city’s culinary diversity, I sampled many different types of ethnic cuisine including Liang Pi “Cold Skin” Noodles at Xi’an Famous Foods, which was featured by Anthony Bourdain on his No Reservations television show.
Avenue is the center of hustle and bustle in New York City.
My favorite spot in Manhattan: The New York Public Library and Bryant Park.
Bryant Park Summer Film Festival included a screening of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
The city that never sleeps.
The Brooklyn Bridge from Astoria Park.
Running in Astoria Park to support the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation fitness initiative: BeFitNYC, “Make NYC Your Gym.”