‘It’s Important to Incorporate Stakeholder Voices’.
‘It’s Important to Incorporate Stakeholder Voices’
MPH student Leona Mawuena Ofei is collaborating with community members and stakeholders on a project that aims to identify health risk behaviors among autistic youth.
When she is not studying epidemiology and biostatistics at the School of Public Health, Dean’s Scholar and MPH student Leona Mawuena Ofei is working on a project with SPH and School of Medicine faculty to identify the most pressing health risk behaviors among autistic adolescents and youth. In developing the research agenda, the project aims to include the voices of community members and stakeholders directly affected by autism.
“It’s important to incorporate stakeholder voices in projects like this because they have been directly impacted by, and intimately engaged with, certain health issues in ways that health professionals may not have been,” Ofei says.
Ofei sees this project as a way to highlight the power and necessity of community engagement in public health work, and to show how that engagement ensures the work’s sustainability, usefulness, and effectiveness in the communities it is intended to serve.
With the world becoming more connected than ever before, Ofei—who also explores the role of health communication in improving health behavior, and serves as the communications and marketing coordinator for SPH’s Public Health Post—envisions a future where public health work is collaborative and prioritizes bringing health workers, experts, and the communities directly impacted by the work together to have conversations that push public health forward.
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