What inspired you to apply to be a Public Policy Research Scholar?
“This past summer, I took a hands-on approach to learning about policy as a legislative intern for Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL). One of the long-term projects I worked on centered on maternal mortality which, despite a noted decline in every other developed nation in the world, is on the rise here in the United States. Despite the Centers for Disease Control classifying sixty percent of these deaths as preventable, national policy has yet to be implemented. While looking at the legislation currently proposed, I noticed that solutions currently working on the ground were largely unaccounted for. In PPRS, I hope to learn about reframing policy to assess its impact in terms of its lowest common denominator: the individual. The PPRS program gives me the space to quantitatively analyze how policies can target society’s most pressing problems without losing sight of who they are designed to help.”
What do you hope to gain from the PPRS experience?
“The problems which excite me the most occur in the field of healthcare. How should pharmaceutical companies price their medications? How should cities address the opioid epidemic? How should the government respond to rising healthcare costs? Each of these questions is relevant for health policy, but they all center on distinct relationships between different players. Regulatory policy aiming to answer these questions will undoubtedly shape the industry landscape on a macro level. However, to understand a policy’s true impact, I believe we should also examine how it alters stakeholder relationships. Outside of Penn, I am a research assistant for a clinical trial in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Behavioral Oncology Lab. Working on this trial has allowed me to experience firsthand how some of these relationships play out on the micro level. Through the PPRS curriculum, I want to learn how policy interventions modify relationships at all levels of healthcare. As I continue engaging with policy, I hope to better understand the implications it holds for society.”