HCMP Major Conducts Research, Explores Health Disparities

NOVEMBER 14, 2013 - Georgetown junior Khadijah Davis (NHS’15) recently found a new way to spark discussion about health care in the nation’s capital – a poetry slam.

The health care management & policy major at the School of Nursing & Health Studies planned – through the organization IMPACT – an event at Busboys and Poets for students from area universities to talk about health.

“There needs to be more creative approaches to understanding health and understanding health disparities,” she says.  “The arts have a way of reaching people in a different way.  If you’re trying to impact the public, you have to speak their language.”

Health Disparities

At Georgetown, Davis has honed in on her passion for health care policy – all in an effort to help address health disparities.

“I definitely want to do things that relate to policy and health care disparities,” she says.  “I thought that policy would be the best way to do that because social determinants of health are associated with policy.”

Last year, Davis was selected as a Health Equity Student Scholar, through which she has worked with Laura Anderko, PhD, the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Chair in Values Based Health Care at NHS, and other students on a federal effort to analyze data and factors impacting health disparities in the District of Columbia and five nearby states.

Student Involvement

Davis has also been involved with the student media, including writing a column for The Hoya on race and gender and serving as the business manager for The Fire This Time, an online multicultural newsmagazine.

“I am very interested in communications,” she says.  “In The Hoya, I would write about the intersection of race and gender.  I wrote about pluralism on campus, affirmative action, and television shows like Scandal.”

This academic year, she joined the Minority Health Initiative Council at NHS and is the vice president of the Georgetown University Women of Color.

“Our mission is to encourage women to become leaders on campus,” she says.  “It’s also a social organization so we focus on topics ranging from religion to relationships.  We are trying to do more in the DC community by hosting more community service events.”

Faculty Mentorship

Additionally, Davis, who is pursuing a minor in African American studies, has received funding through the Georgetown Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (GUROP).

She is working on a book project with Soyica Diggs Colbert, PhD, associate professor of theater and performance studies and a core faculty member in the African American Studies Program.

Davis is also a program assistant and works alongside the core faculty, including Angelyn Mitchell, PhD, associate professor of English.

“Dr. Mitchell has been a great professor since day one of college,” she says.  “She’s always concerned about what we’re doing.  The same with Dr. Colbert.  They’re both really great.”

By Bill Cessato