The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

2015 First-Year Fellow: Abhilasha Gokulan '18

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This summer, I had the privilege of working at the Center for Perinatal Advocacy at Providence Hospital under the mentorship of Gabriela Garcia ’01. The Center for Perinatal Advocacy was established in 2010 with the mission of working towards decreasing infant mortality within high-risk communities in the DC metropolitan area. The goal of the Center for Perinatal Advocacy is to educate, advocate, and serve mothers and their infants through strategies focused on breastfeeding, car seats, and safe sleep. The Center is also an awardee of the Strong Start grant, funded by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, to study the efficacy of various maternity care models.

Abhilasha Gokulan '18 (right) and Vivian Jiang '18 (right) with First-Year Fellow mentor Gabriela Garcia '01 (center). Photo by Laurie DeWitt. 


Abhilasha Gokulan '18 (left) and Vivian Jiang '18 (right), Dartmouth First-Year Fellows at the Center for Perinatal Advocacy, outside Providence Hospital.

I had a great experience working in a hospital and learned about the inner workings of a community hospital as well as the challenges it faces. Considering that I plan on minoring in public policy on the health policy track, and am thinking of getting a Masters of Public Health in the future, this summer has prepared me well. I learned that departments are often understaffed and nurses can be overworked, so when communicating with hospital staff, it is best to know exactly what information I need and how make questions as succinct as possible. Patients I saw were often faced with difficulties in their home lives, so it was important to learn how to be understanding. In the future, my experiences this summer would help me more than any classroom learning, should I get an opportunity to work in health policy.

-Written by Abhilasha Gokulan '18



 This series introduces the 2015 First-Year Fellows. Each fellow reflects on his or her experience in Washington DC as a First-Year Fellow working with a mentor in public policy.


The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences