Improving health for all people through programs and policy

Natasha Paleau, MPH '13, first became passionate about public health as an undergraduate student who assisted people living with HIV/AIDS during an alternative spring break trip, and then as a social worker in New York City, where she was a case manager for HIV-positive residents. After focusing on treatment and maintenance, she began to wonder about the prevention methods and systems in place.  

As a master of public health student at UMD, Natasha researched and explored the lack of an operational needle-exchange program in Prince George’s County, Maryland, an area with disproportionately high rates of HIV/AIDS. Her discoveries led her to the role health systems and applied health policy can play in prevention and awareness.

Natasha now works for the National Association of County and City Health Officials, where she helps gather and analyze data for Healthy People 2020, a Department of Health and Human Services initiative that provides national objectives to benchmark, monitor and improve health across the country.

Natasha’s legacy at UMD includes working to improve health on campus as part of the university’s wellness coalition. She is proud of the role she played in developing the Farmers’ Market at Maryland, a weekly market serving fresh, local produce to the College Park campus from spring to fall, which launched in 2012.

Published Spring 2014