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Drexel School of Public Health Student a Top Winner in Nationwide Kaiser Essay Contest to 2008 Presi

May 7, 2008

Drexel University School of Public Health master’s candidate Adrienne Poon placed second in the national Kaiser Family Foundation’s Second Annual Student Essay Contest. She was one of 300 students from 100 colleges and universities nationwide to enter the Kaiser Family Foundation’s contest.

In this year’s contest, graduate and undergraduate students were asked to imagine themselves as an analyst on the next President-elect’s health care transition team and write a memo recommending the new administration’s health priorities in one of five areas: controlling health care costs; eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities; expanding health promotion and disease prevention efforts; improving women’s health or improving the quality of health care. Poon chose to write a memo to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) on racial and ethnic healthcare disparities.

Poon’s essay, "Multilevel Approach to Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities," was selected as a winning essay from a wide range of disciplines including, economics, public health, health administration, nursing, physical therapy, medicine, and public policy. According to the Kaiser Foundation, Poon’s essay was “exceptionally insightful, thorough, and well-researched.”

“We applaud Adrienne for her fine work and commitment towards addressing healthcare disparities in this country and across the globe,” said Marla J. Gold, MD, dean of Drexel’s School of Public Health. “Adrienne’s research and essay reflect the school’s core values of entwining human health and human rights in addressing today’s public health concerns.”

Judges for the contest included former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, MD; the President of the Federation of American Hospitals Chip Kahn; Dean of the George Washington School of Public Health Ruth Katz,; Kaiser President and CEO Drew E. Altman; and Kaiser Executive Vice President Diane Rowland.

Poon is pursuing her master’s degree in Health Management and Policy at Drexel’s School of Public Health. Her community-based master’s project (CBMP) focuses on the racial disparities and institutional discrimination toward Asian Americans in healthcare systems.

Poon is also a research assistant studying smoking policy at Temple University’s Center for Asian Health. Previously, she managed the legislative portion of a large health inequalities study at the University of Pennsylvania. As a member of Asian Americans United, she facilitates youth outreach programs.

Poon is a graduate of Tufts University. Soon after receiving her degree, she met with non-governmental organizations (NGO) in Hong Kong to research volunteer opportunities as part of a collaborative effort between the school’s study abroad program and the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service.

The awards were announced and posted on, which is the Kaiser Family Foundation’s site for students and professors interested in health policy. The site also reaches a wide range of individuals in academia, industry, and government. Poon will receive a certificate of achievement and an award of $500.

Drexel’s School of Public Health is the only school of public health in the Philadelphia region and one of two in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


News Media Contact: Niki Gianakaris, Assistant Director, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or

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