In celebration of their 10 year anniversary, the University of Missouri Master of Public Health recognized four distinct alumni for their exemplary contributions to public health in May 2017. Awardees are listed below.
Global Public Health
Dr. Maihan Abdullah (2013)
One of Dr. Abdullah’s most important efforts has been to advance cancer prevention in Afghanistan. Prior to his efforts, there had been no screening program for cancer in the country, no public awareness campaigns, no cancer registry, and no diagnosis and treatment centers. He established the Afghanistan Cancer Foundation (ACF), the first advocacy organization for cancer prevention and control, and serves as its Executive Director. He also established and heads the National Cancer Control program, which was launched this year, and is currently training staff for the program. He established the Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Project within Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health and served as its first coordinator. And finally, he is in the process of creating the first nationwide Cancer Registry in Afghanistan, and has consulted with the International Agency for Research on Cancer with the World Health Organization as well as experts at the Missouri Cancer Registry and Research Center at the University of Missouri.
Veterinary Public Health
Cody Minks (2014)
As a public health emergency planner in St. Charles County, Cody works to ensure his community is ready to handle emergencies and disasters. Just months after starting his career with St. Charles County, Cody participated in the emergency operations surrounding riots in Ferguson. Following the historic flooding in December 2015, Cody worked tirelessly for weeks to help neighboring communities respond and recover. In addition to his responsibilities at St. Charles County, Cody also serves as an adjunct instructor for the MU MPH program. He further serves the MU MPH program through the Alumni Association, helping the alumni of our program build a network, improving the reputation of our program, and assisting graduates in their own careers. Additionally, along with military leaders and intelligence specialists, Cody is completing the prestigious Master of Arts in Security Studies at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School.
Health Promotion and Policy
Kimi Nolte (2013)
Ever since college, Kimi has advocated for survivors of domestic violence in both a professional and volunteer capacity. In her recent position working for Prince George’s County (Maryland), she successfully wrote and secured one of the largest grants her department had ever received to help area survivors of domestic violence. But Kimi’s dedication to public health doesn’t stop at 5:00 pm. She also works part-time at a safe house for victims of sex trafficking in Washington, DC. Kimi’s role as a resident counselor helps provide much-needed emotional support and encouragement, as well as education to help them establish strong daily living skills. Kimi also holds a volunteer leadership role at Planned Parenthood of Washington, DC, where she helps train future leaders, acts to protect important healthcare services, and advocates for common-sense reproductive health policy. After participating in the highly-selective, nine-month training programing, her performance and commitment resulted in being invited to serve in her current leadership capacity.
Health Promotion and Policy
Aver Yakubu (2015)
Through Generate Health, a maternal child health coalition in St. Louis, MO, Aver contributes to the field of public health by managing multiple initiatives: behavioral health and infant mortality (behavioral health and prenatal care focus). The Perinatal Behavioral Health Initiative (PBHI) includes 17 organizational partners throughout the St. Louis region (Physicians from Washington University and SSM, intimate partner violence shelters, and the St. Louis Public School’s teen pregnancy program just to name a few) who are part of a referral network to ensure perinatal women are screened for behavioral health concerns and enter case management. As part of her role of managing the PBHI network, she meets with each partner organization monthly to ensure the needs of the women they serve are met. These monthly meetings have naturally evolved into providing recommendations to direct service partners on how to communicate with their patient/clients in a culturally competent manner to ensure their clients have all their needs met.