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PHD Public Health Investigation, Iranian Applicant

I have served the community as a Public Health Investigator for the past 10 years including 5 years as a supervisor. This ‘boots on the ground’ experience of working with those who are homeless, addicted and psychologically disturbed has given me an insight into the many ways that well-intended policies, implemented to assist them, often fail to provide the anticipated results or to do so to the anticipated degree. It is clear to me that my frustrated cries of ‘Why didn’t they ….’ Or ‘Why don’t they…’ are not going to solve the problems that I identified.  Consequently I now I seek to equip myself with the knowledge and skills to enable me to shape effective policies to improve the lives of those who, for so many different reasons, have gone seriously awry.

My goal, having completed the program, is to hold a senior post in local government helping to formulate policies, measuring their effectiveness and making any necessary adjustments and doing the same in respect of current policies. I would hope to create wide contacts with peers in other geographical areas to identify ‘best practices’ and in sharing information and expertise. In the longer term, I hope to pursue a Ph.D. and to teach the specialty in order to share my genuine passion with a new generation of managers within the specialty.

I was raised by parents who insisted on impeccable honesty, hard work and the importance of ‘making a difference’ rather than merely ‘making a living’. I was born in Iran and raised there until the age of 14 when my family moved to Germany. From the age of 15, I worked as a volunteer in various refugee camp as a translator and in assisting inmates to make applications to stay. After arriving In the US in 1994, I worked for two years as a volunteer at the XXXX’s hospital providing general assistance to the, often distressed, relatives of sick children in the Burns Unit or Oncology Department.

My initial work as a PHI related to the Public Health Department’s STD program. I was sufficiently effective in that role to be promoted to supervising PHI with the Tuberculosis Control Program and have served in this role for the last 5 years. In my Bachelor degree I majored in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology and so have been able to exploit this knowledge to some degree in this role. In my career to date, I have always striven to make improvements in procedures and policy implementation where I have been able to do so. For example, to keep LA residents safe, it is at times necessary to incarcerate non-compliant and highly infectious TB patients who may also have psychological issues and a tendency to violence. Initially, the Sheriffs would sometimes turn our patients away due to facility overcrowding and there was no alternative way of keeping both the patient and society safe. It took almost a year for me to engage the right parties at the Sheriff’s Department and the Supervisor’s office. So far, I have helped to implement two small agreed policy changes that have made a substantial difference. Now the clients are housed as patient-inmates until completion of therapy. We also now have the support of Sheriff’s deputies assigned to county hospitals where necessary. I liaised with the responsible sergeant and we agreed a directive which was adopted throughout the County under which we have support in relocating or re-detaining patients who seeks to leave hospital at a premature stage of treatment.

I am very aware that technical knowledge is not in itself sufficient to change policies and attitudes. Certain characteristics are vital in those seeking to make real, lasting and positive differences in any field but especially in areas where budgets are always under pressure and the welfare of individuals is at stake. I realize that creativity, an analytical mind, determination and the ability to engage exceptionally well with others are essential in those seeking to make the difference that I seek to make.  I am convinced that I possess these vital characteristics together with the necessary proven academic success and potential in order to excel within the program and in my career beyond it.

I have happily studied, worked, liaised and socialized with people of many different social and ethnic backgrounds. I get on easily with others and have an empathetic attitude. I speak, read and write Persian, Armenian, German, and English in which I am fully fluent. I seek to be a well-rounded person and have many interests; I paint and write, I am passionately interested in current affairs and read biographies and books on politics, I also love swimming and dancing Salsa.

I am aware of the danger, when undertaking a senior role, of possibly losing sight of the fact that every file or case number is a real person with unique problems. It would be my firm intention to ensure that I always have regular and direct contact with those, both staff and clients, who are affected by high level decision making and, where appropriate, to seek their input and feedback.

I can assure the reader that I will apply myself with exceptional diligence and determination in order to excel within the program and in my future career.

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