Jessica Delaney (BPH ‘17, current MPH student) is a Health Promoter at the Brant County Health Unit working in the Population Health Assessment Department.
Jessica works with interdisciplinary teams to address public health issues such as substance misuse, mental health and youth engagement. As a Health Promoter she uses a population health promotion approach to guide public health programming which includes researching, planning, developing, implementation and evaluating programs for different priority populations.
Jessica feels that public health is her chosen field of work and feels that her continued education as an MPH student will provide her with the tools to be leader in public health. She would like to strengthen her policy development and leadership skills to help shape and develop regional and or provincial policies to reduce health inequities and to improve health behaviours.
What advice do you have for students who are interested in exploring a career in public health?
My advice for students who are interested in exploring a career in PH is to be open to many opportunities. Public health is a diverse field and there are multiple career paths to take to gain skills in many areas which is valuable to become a well-rounded public health professional.
Can you tell me about one unique or interesting project you’ve been involved with?
I am part of the Central West Tobacco Control Area Network (CWTCAN) prevention committee and we are currently working on a vaping campaign for secondary school students. The campaign is scheduled to run at the end of October to the beginning of December. I am very excited to see this project rolled out. Here is a link from that provides more information about our vaping campaign.
What interested you in pursuing a career in public health?
I always knew I wanted to help people I just wasn’t sure exactly how. I knew I wanted to work upstream by tackling bigger issues related to health. I then did some research and realized I was passionate in Public Health practices by focusing on the population through prevention and health promotion rather than individuals and treatment and clinical practices.
What are some of the biggest challenges that come with your work?
The biggest challenges that come with this work would be that change happens slowly. It takes time to change people’s health behaviors and a lot of work needs to be done to see the small changes however on a population level those small changes make a large impact.