Rural Roots to Global Response and Preparedness Interventions
As a young 16-year-old in high school living in a small town of 300 people, Eugene Floersch (Community Health Promotion MPH ’21) was interested in the well-being of his community. “I viewed our local rescue squad as a way to get involved and as a way of being where the immediate action was.” This exposure made him aware of the lack of health care that surrounded his rural town and compelled him to further his education and become a U.S. Army Combat Medic. Over the years of service treating people who had already been through a disaster, Eugene began to realize that in order to adequately respond to any health-related emergency, and start to prevent many emergencies from ever happening, we first need to re-evaluate our response procedures.
These early experiences encouraged Eugene to pursue his Master of Public Health degree. He continues to focus his efforts and training on global emergency response and preparedness and has sought out opportunities to utilize the skill sets and knowledge that he has gained. Some of those include developing risk assessments for offsite healthcare simulation activities and working interprofessionally with engineers and anesthesiologists to create a hood to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 exposure. Eugene credits the significant role of the global health minor coursework in the success of these projects. Looking forward to his global health career, Eugene reflects, “Whether it be including the affected community on any intervention planning or ensuring that all projects utilize an interprofessional approach to problem solving, these lessons I have learned will continue to influence effective global public health interventions and policies.”