Greetings and Welcome!
My name is Cassandra and I am a proud first generation Haitian-American, born and raised in Miami, FL. I received my PhD in Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention from Florida International University. My research is focused around the use of both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida (GoGators) and a Master of Public Health from the University of Miami.
Soon after obtaining my degree from the University of Florida I worked as an HIV Prevention Associate at WellFlorida Council in Gainesville, FL. It was in this role I started to see how HIV disproportionately affected minority groups. You realize how impactful a group’s knowledge, attitude, beliefs and practices affects how they perceive things such as getting tested, contraceptive use, and their perceived risk in contracting the virus. This experience is what propelled my interest in Public Health.
For this reason, I moved back to Miami to pursue my MPH degree from the University of Miami. And when I came back to Miami I was taken aback by some of the evident public health issues that I never noticed during my adolescence. Most of it were health disparities that were overwhelming the African American and the Haitian community.
Since then I’ve always wondered, why? Why are my Haitian people slipping under the radar? And just like that, this was the question I intended on answering.
Fast forward to 2018 and I found myself in Haiti for 10 months, with an NIH Global Health fellowship carrying out a mixed-methods study titled, “Psychosocial and Structural Barriers to Seeking, Reaching, and Receiving Care for Obstetric Emergencies and Peripartum Cardiomyopathy Among Pregnant and Early Postpartum Women in Haiti”. The work and dedication in carrying out this study was humbling, draining, and amazing all at the same time.
So I decided to create this blog and name it Lekòl ak Lavi (school and life) for you to follow my journey through school and everything in between. I hope my content helps you, even if a little bit, as you follow me on my academic, professional, and personal journey.