requesting admission into the Health Behavior doctoral program
OK so i am applying for a doctral degree in public health and i am stuck with my personal statement. I need help with getting it together to make it appealing to the school, any feedback will be appreciated.
Growing up in rural Ghana, I realized the continuous challenges that persisted in health care institutions. Lack of adequate healthcare resources placed a burden on the already stretched infrastructure, which significantly impacted the health and quality of life of members of the community. In bigger cities, patients had the opportunity to see a doctor anytime they were sick; and received special attention unlike those in the rural villages where health workers only showed up and attended to the sick once in a week. At first, I thought it was just because the cities had more people and more money that was why their health was considered more worthy to physicians than rural dwellers. I also realized even patients from the rural areas who managed to get to the cities to seek better treatment had to face inequality in receiving care. As I travelled outside my home country, Ghana, to Europe and the United States, I noticed that rural dwellers had to face similar disparities in seeking health services.
As the world gets closer and communities become more integrated, problems pertaining to migrants' health and wellbeing get complicated through language barriers and cultural differences. Among African immigrants living in rural Indiana, language barrier and cultural differences have immensely impacted their health. The high rates of health insurance coverage, limited financial resources, language barrier, cultural differences and special health care needs of rural-dwelling African immigrants complicate the rural health care system which has been affected by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, crippling many health care providers to be unable to provide the basic services due these immigrants.
Studies that have addressed issues of health care access and health problems among immigrants in the USA tend to focus on Latinos. A review of the literature on health status and health care access among rural minorities in Indiana found little research on immigrants from African nationalities; yet, many rural areas in Indiana are seeing an unprecedented growth in these minority populations who are not represented in the literature. Health disparities among African immigrants leaving in rural Indiana has existed for some time but with little or no attention from the public.
After becoming the president of the Ghana Society of Indiana (GSI) in September 2010, and also an executive member of the All African Nations of Indiana (AANI), I have been forced to confront the health problems (disparities and inequalities) Ghanaians and other African nationals living in rural areas in the State of Indiana face on a daily basis. Personal stories and experiences of these African immigrants could be explored further by acquiring advanced knowledge and training through the doctoral program at the HPER. Specifically, this will endow me with the necessary professional skills that will enable me to help improve or eradicate some of the health disparities among African immigrants in rural Indiana.
I am respectfully requesting admission into the Health Behavior doctoral program. My previous experiences in health promotion, academic preparation, and personal qualities have prepared me for the expectations of the doctoral program. My interest in rural health sprung after my admission into the Master of Science Program (Health Behavior) in HPER. At the moment, I am working on immigrant health in rural areas, mainly Indiana, under the supervision of Dr. Cecilia Obeng who is also a co-investigator. I believe that continuing to work under the supervision of Dr. Obeng in an advanced education and training will facilitate and allow me to be competent in researching Immigrant's health.
If admitted into the Health Behavior doctoral program, I will focus on combining academic studies with hands-on experience, and I believe that the department of Applied Health offer extraordinary opportunities for these endeavors. I also believe that I can contribute to the program through research and publishing. My ultimate goal is to absorb the intellectual richness and diversity of the Department of Applied Health Science to enhance the eradication of health disparities among immigrants.