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Austin WatersThroughout my Honors Health, Society & Policy degree; I was able to pursue my passion for community engagement and population health while honing my skills in research, program management, and capacity building. As I began my Honors HSP degree, I began to get involved in programs like Connect2Health, Hotspotting and the Bennion Center which led me to my passion of infusing community into public health and medicine. Through Connect2Health I was able to lead a clinical team of 14 volunteers to address the social needs of low SES families to improve their health status. I continued to work in the social determinants of health with Hotspotting, where I was able to build infrastructure and overcome language barriers for following teams to address the high utilization of vulnerable populations. With the many programs in the Bennion Center I was able to make meaningful impact in the community by creating the Utah AIDS Foundation program, leading multiple alternative breaks focusing on HIV and Community Health as well as build capacity by managing the 8 Health & Ability programs. As I entered the final years of my degree I began working on my Honors Thesis looking at refugee health care utilization and Housing First, interning in Communicable Disease at the Utah Department of Health and then community outreach at the Utah AIDS Foundation. Through all of these experiences I have been able to work in the crevasses of the community that often are overlooked. As I finished my undergraduate career I joined the Kirchhoff Team in the department of Cancer Control and Population Science at Huntsman Cancer Institute working on studies focused on young adult cancer and integration of new technology into social support. I became the Associate Director and Co-Founder of Bags to Beds a local organization aiming to increase sustainability and provide a resource to the homeless and a Bennion Center Fellow being sent off to work with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in Hep C counseling and syringe services. I am currently pursuing a Master of Science in Public Health at the University of Utah holding graduate assistant and graduate research assistant positions with Connect2Health and Huntsman Cancer Institute respectively. As I move forward to my next degree I plan to continue to research and work in the social determinants of health, queer health and community engagement-based medicine.


Last Updated: 3/31/21