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Public Health Student Guides Passage of Healthcare Legislation in Arizona for Her MPH Internship Project


Arizona Capitol Museum, photo taken by Gage Skidmore

For her internship project, MPH student Dr. Laura Mercer successfully promoted legislation that was passed by the State of Arizona to make contraception more accessible for women, an incredible accomplishment that will benefit all Arizonans!

Laura Mercer MD, MBAThe college’s 2021 Virtual MPH Internship Conference launched with a kickoff event that highlighted student Laura Mercer, MD, MBA, and her MPH internship project. Dr. Mercer, a practicing obstetrician gynecologist in Phoenix, AZ, is earning her MPH degree with a concentration in Health Services Administration from the college’s Phoenix Campus, located on the UArizona's Phoenix Biomedical Campus. To accomplish her MPH internship project, she worked collaboratively with multiple partners to pass new legislation that makes access to contraception easier for women in Arizona!

The new legislation makes it possible for Arizona pharmacists to dispense self-administered contraceptives to women in Arizona without the need for a patient-specific prescription. This new over-the-counter access to birth control makes contraception much more accessible for many women, a transformative change and a big step forward for women’s health in Arizona! Thank you Dr. Mercer!

For her internship project, Dr. Mercer collaborated with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), with former MEZCOPH faculty member and state senator Heather Carter, and with our current faculty member Kirin Goff, JD, director of the Applied Health Policy Institute. In addition, she collaborated with several Arizona legislators and stakeholders to draft, shape, and lobby for the legislation.

You can hear the whole story from Dr. Mercer in the Conference kickoff event video.

Or you can watch Dr. Mercer’s virtual presentation about her MPH internship that was part of the Conference.

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