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Javier Ortega

Javier Ortega

MPH Health Behavior Health Promotion

“MEZCOPH has given me a greater appreciation for the state I live in and has ignited a fire in me to work on addressing health disparities specifically in Arizona and in the Southwest.”

  • Hometown:

    Lake Havasu City, Arizona

    Prior Degree(s):

    BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology from The University of Arizona

    Before entering the program:

    I was working full time as a caseworker for the AZ Department of Child Safety

    Why did you choose public health?

    I love that public health is so strongly aligned with reducing disparities in health and has many of the foundations of social justice engrained in everything we do.

    Why did you choose MEZCOPH?

    It was never really a difficult decision for me to choose MEZCOPH given that I am in LOVE with the city of Tucson and being a Wildcat is actually the best thing a person can choose to be. I knew that I would get a stellar education in a city that I love. I wanted to make sure that I had the skills to work in Arizona, and I feel this program will prepare me for that better than any other program I applied to.

    Public health interests:

    Mental health, minority health disparities, LGBTQ health, rural health

    Internship:

    Mohave County Community Health Needs Assessment

    Interests/hobbies outside of school:

    I have a leadership position on the APHA Student Assembly Section’s board as a programming co-chair. When I am not doing those things I generally try to go for a run to relieve stress or watch my hedgehog run on his wheel. We like to stay active! I am currently living without wifi so I spend a lot more time cooking, coloring and reading.

    Tip for future students:

    Get involved with different clubs/organizations and make connections early on. If you are not a Tucson native (like me!) and want to go back home and do your internship over the summer start early with planning and identify different organizations that might be willing to take you on as an intern. Take advantage of all of the opportunities to learn about things MEZCOPH is doing in the community and attend seminars early and often. Also, get out there and explore Tucson! It is truly an amazing city with so much to offer if you have the time to explore.

The University of Arizona