Sandhya Kalavacherla | 2020 | Interns

Sandhya Kalavacherla

Sandhya Kalavacherla (’21)

Pleasanton, CA

Jeffrey L. Pressman Intern

Biology Major

American Public Health Association

I worked at the policy center of the American Public Health Association (APHA), a national organization to advance public health research, education and advocacy. As a public health policy intern I mainly focused on disconnected youth, those neither employed nor in school and often marginalized by institutional factors. I recognized the urgency to focus on this population, as the recent economic fallout from COVID-19 will increase the rate of disconnection in the near future. I helped develop a federal policy agenda to prevent youth disconnection as public health strategy and also developed a fact sheet on this demographic as a public education resource. Working at APHA I gained a broad view of social and institutional determinants of health and understood that public policy can influence the extent to which social factors affect health outcomes, especially among vulnerable populations. I hope to leverage policy in my future career to redesign how social and healthcare systems mediate the impacts of socioeconomic status on health outcomes.​