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Tufts Public Health

Gillian Javetski

Gillian Javetski (MPH ‘12) is using her Tufts experience to help develop health technology systems for communities all over the world.

What were you doing before Tufts? Were you always interested in public health?

During my undergraduate at Tufts, I double majored in Community Health and International Relations. I took a semester off during college to intern at the United Nations in Geneva, and was surrounded by colleagues who all had gotten their MPHs. These experiences inspired me to continue pursuing my interest in public health, and earn my MPH in Health Services Management and Policy through Tufts’ dual-degree BA/MPH program.

What were some of the highlights of your program?

The classes were really diverse, in part because they included students from many different dual degree programs. Some of my first MPH classes included students from the nutrition school, as well as students doing their MBAs and getting their law degrees. The types of questions they asked really broadened my perspectives and made me think differently about public health.

I also appreciated that the program provides lots of flexibility. For example, I was a Teaching Assistant to Lisa Gualtieri who taught a week-long health communications course in the summer. I was able to network with the speakers she invited for guest lectures, as well as with other students - many who had been in the public health workforce for several years. It was a great chance to expand my learning in a way that fit into my schedule.

What was it like working in the community during your Applied Learning Experience (ALE)?

During my ALE, I worked as part of the health informatics team at Partners in Health. I conducted qualitative research by mapping maternal and child health clinical protocols for the Maternal Concept Lab. It was an incredibly valuable introduction to understanding the intersection between global health and healthcare technology, and also introduced me to my first job out of school. I’m very lucky to still call my original ALE preceptor Jonathan Payne a mentor, even to this day.

How are you using your MPH in your work today?

I’m currently the Chief of Staff at Dimagi, a company focused on using technology to drive social impact. We build digital health technology designed to help healthcare workers in places like sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. And this year, with COVID-19, we’ve been working with various cities and states in the US to build and strengthen their COVID-19 case investigation and contract tracing technology systems.

What do you want a prospective Tufts student to know?

The Tufts program is a great balance of classroom learning and real-world experiences. You get to see the big picture, but then dive into a much deeper-level understanding of the public health ecosystem. Especially based on this past year with COVID-19, now is a great time to go into public health! We need more smart and passionate people more than ever.

Gillian Javetski, MPH'12
Gillian Javetski
MPH, Health Services Management and Policy