Happy New Year! We are ringing in 2024 by having a conversation on the importance of healthcare access to the well-being of rural communities. This week we welcome Jaquesha Jefferson, a Master of Public Health Candidate at Florida State University and current intern for the Center for Rural Health Leadership, to discuss her capstone research on rural healthcare access. In our conversation, Jaquesha shares why she was inspired to choose this health issue for her capstone, and how she identified gaps in policy that are negatively affecting rural residents.
“My Capstone looked at the root causes for lack of access to healthcare in rural areas rather than relying on short-term solutions that may exacerbate the problem over time. “
Jaquesha Jefferson, CommHIT’s lead Data Analyst, obtained her Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences on a Pre-Clinical Track from the University of Central Florida in August 2022. She is currently enrolled at Florida State University, pursuing her Master of Public Health degree. Jefferson’s degree focuses on policy, which has made her interested in understanding what changes can be implemented at the governmental level to eliminate health disparities faced by individuals residing in rural communities. Jaquesha is also an intern for the Center for Rural Health Leadership, where she enjoys obtaining and refining the skills that will allow her to lead in rural healthcare. Previously, Jefferson worked for the Florida Department of Health as the FLEX Grant Coordinator, where she oversaw and implemented projects related to quality and operational improvement of critical access hospitals across the State. Jefferson has a true passion for serving others, and expanding access to care for all individuals, ensuring that the quality of life is great for all