MPH Student Completing Internship with UF Health Pediatric Pulmonary Center

Published: February 25th, 2014

Category: Student News

Holley Hooks Holley Hooks, MPH Student in the Social and Behavioral Sciences track, is currently completing an internship with the Pediatric Pulmonary Center (PPC) at UF Health in their trainee program.

With an interest in maternal and child health, Hooks is getting extensive training and clinical experience with patients who have Cystic Fibrosis (CF) in the PPC. As part of the training program, Hooks attends journal club meetings, a weekly seminar taught by multidisciplinary faculty where she learns about various topics that relate to CF, and meetings in which patient cases are discussed by the health care team.

Hooks commented,


This has been a very eye-opening experience for me as I have learned so much about Cystic Fibrosis and all of the different issues that affect a patient’s health and well-being when dealing with this disease.

For her MPH Project, Hooks will be qualitatively exploring the barriers to adherence in school-aged children with CF. To better understand barriers to patient adherence to CF treatment, she will be conducting interviews with parents as well as a focus group with the healthcare team. Hooks hopes to identify solutions to increase adherence, which she believes will ultimately lead to improved survival and quality of life in pediatric CF patients.

Hooks is currently a student under Dr. Alba Burns. She plans to graduate in May 2014 and this summer she is hoping to spend ten weeks abroad through the Global Justice Volunteers program with the United Methodist Church. Following her service, she would like to utilize the skills she has learned during her MPH degree to open a nonprofit resource center for pregnant teenagers in Huntsville, Alabama. Her vision is to offer childbirth and pregnancy classes and eventually a free doula service to support girls who wouldn’t otherwise have it.

I am learning a lot from this internship about the importance of a partnership between the patient and provider and I want to apply that to pregnant teenagers.