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Student Spotlight – Jennifer Bae

March 11, 2020
by Denise Meyer

Altruism is a guiding principle for Jennifer Bae. A Korean-born student from San Diego, she personally witnessed how difficult it can be for families that cannot access quality health care. One of the key reasons she chose the Yale School of Public Health, in fact, was the opportunity to be involved with the student-run Haven Free Clinic, which provides medical, social and legal care to the vulnerable populations in New Haven.

Now a second-year student in the Health Care Management Program, Jennifer is finishing her term as Haven Free Clinic’s director of faculty and community relations. In that role she recruited and onboarded 12 physicians/providers from the School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital to volunteer as the clinic’s attending physicians, doubling the number of attendings in the clinic. She was also able to increase the number of reproductive health specialists. “It was really rewarding to see how faculty and students all worked passionately for the same mission. It reminded me why I went into health care in the first place: to drive health care to be more compassionate and inclusive,” said Jennifer who has volunteered or interned in hospitals since she was in high school.

As an undergraduate, Jennifer studied communications, sociology and business and started her career by being recruited in a national retailer’s leadership and executive training program. Although she gained valuable leadership experiences, she realized she wanted to return to healthcare. So, she set her sights on earning her master’s in public health. In the Health Care Management Program, she continues to keep one foot planted in business management and leadership, while maintaining a focus on improving the health care arena for individuals, families and communities. 

“I love this program and I love Yale,” says Jennifer.  The Health Care Management Program provides a unique blend of coursework with the School of Management that is critical in modern health care administration. She feels that she gets the best of both worlds by learning practical skills through business courses while also establishing foundations of public health through YSPH. “One needs to know about the business world,” says Jennifer. “The lens of public health allows you understanding of the unique circumstances that drive a person’s needs.”

Jennifer believes she will have the tools she needs to drive her career in health care in a compassionate and ambitious way. She has accepted a one-year hospital administrative fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for next year. There, she will do both project-based and rotational work, simultaneously giving her the opportunity to explore areas to specialize in her management career while developing some project management experience in the field.

Submitted by Denise Meyer on March 10, 2020