Deanna Barath, MPH, is a third-year doctoral student in the Health Services Administration program. She is interested in the implementation of evidence-based community interventions and policies that improve health equity for vulnerable populations, specifically around the continuity of care, care coordination, and cross-sector partnerships. She is also interested in quality improvement, workforce development, accreditation, and the decision-making processes in the local public health system. She is currently a research assistant in the Hospital And Public health interdisciPlinarY research (HAPPY) Lab and working on her dissertation proposal. Most recently, Deanna served as the project coordinator for a rural health community assessment in Maryland, researched veteran health insurance choices, and worked on research linking local health department activities to readmission rates. In 2018, she was recognized for the best student poster at Public Health Research Day and selected to participate in AcademyHealth's Diversity Scholar's Network; and in 2017, she was selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Health Policy Research Scholar.
Aside from research, Deanna is a frequent guest lecturer on professionalism, policy advocacy, and the public health system; and was a teaching assistant for an undergraduate health policy course (HLSA300) in the Public Health Science program. She is also a servant leader. Deanna currently sits on the Graduate School Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Board and the Prince George's Healthcare Action Coalition (PGHAC). She previously served as a University Senator and committee member, and co-president of the Latinx Graduate Student Association. She also sat on the Graduate School Diversity Recruitment Working Group.
Before choosing to continue her education, Deanna worked as the statewide health programs administrator for the Florida Department of Health overseeing state-wide efforts related to Children’s Medical Services, community health, emergency preparedness, disease control, minority health, and compassionate use. She was primarily responsible for the enhanced integration of health programs within the department (breaking down silos), partners, and stakeholders - particularly for endeavors that improved the health of children. She helped to develop and launch the Florida Healthy Babies initiative which stimulated local efforts to reduce the infant mortality racial disparity using best practices. She also provided guidance to local health departments on the community health assessment and improvement planning processes, strategic planning, and the state’s integrated approach to PHAB accreditation. Deanna has worked on several different accreditations, but her affinity for performance management began while she coordinated the initial CEPH accreditation of Florida State University’s Master of Public Health program. Similarly, her passion for policy advocacy began as she led the team that propelled the FSU tobacco-free campus policy into fruition and worked with housing units to adopt tobacco-free policies. Deanna received her Master of Public Health and Bachelor of Exercise Science degrees from Florida State University, earned a Six Sigma Green Belt certification from the Florida Sterling Council, and is a trained facilitator.