Current position: Senior Clinical Research Coordinator at UCSF and DrPH Candidate at Rutgers School of Public Health
Alana Cordeiro, MPH, graduated from Dornsife School of Public Health in 2016 with a major in Community Health and Prevention.
The Drexel Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Program was established in 2015, and Cordeiro was part of the initial cohort of MCH trainees. She played a key role in developing the program as a MCH student leader.
During her time at Dornsife, Cordeiro was involved in the Peer Health Educators student organization, worked with the special healthcare needs team at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, and completed a research internship at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) on cancer prevention.
Cordeiro also had her work on Care Coordination for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs published in Clinical Pediatrics in 2018.
What drew you to MCH?
Cordeiro says, “Before I even knew what public health was, I knew I wanted to work with children and children’s health. Children are the next generation, and they need the tools to be healthy adults. That involves intervening early when necessary and building up their strengths.
I was also fascinated by my own mother’s resilience from her childhood and that made me want to focus on MCH resilience.
In addition, I was part of the Peer Health Educators student organization and did some maternal health and reproductive health work during my undergrad. It was clear from my background and experiences that maternal and child health was my calling.”
How are you using your current MCH training?
Cordeiro works as a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator at UCSF where she oversees several MCH longitudinal studies on the impact of environmental exposures on children’s health. She is also a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) candidate at Rutgers School of Public Health. The program is part-time and focuses on leadership, practice, and research. The program also allows Cordeiro to continue to explore her research interest in maternal and child health.
Cordeiro says, “I’ve been doing research for so long and thought it made sense to go the PhD route. I wanted more of a public health focus and wanted to explore the management perspective of public health. It was a timely decision because we need more public health management now more than ever. I’m proud to still be working in an area I’m passionate about. It’s not always possible to love what you do and give back at the same time. I’m proud that I can love what I do and feel like I’m giving back.”
Highlights from getting your MPH at Dornsife?
“I didn’t understand how wide MCH is before my time at Drexel. I got to explore all aspects of MCH during my time at Drexel. It was such a wonderful opportunity to be able to attend MCH lectures and journal clubs and work with faculty like Dr. Turchi and Dr. Davis. They were great mentors and their passion for MCH really showed and ignited my interest in MCH.”
Advice to current and future MCH students?
Cordeiro’s biggest advice to current and future students is to “go for it,” whether it be applying for a funding opportunity, an internship, etc.
She also recommends taking advantage of office hours to get to know professors better, and trying to attend as many events, lectures, and conferences as possible.
Lastly, Cordeiro says to get involved in as many activities outside the classroom as possible.