Category: Health Magazine, Summer 2024

Title:Meet two Georgetown students working on MedStar Health’s triennial Community Health Needs Assessment

Author: Nowshin Chowdhury
Date Published: July 9, 2024

Joie Hucko (G'25)

Joie Hucko (G’25) is a student in the Masters of Health Systems Administration program in the School of Health. Hucko was one of the students who helped with the 2024 CHNA report by engaging with the community.

What was your role for the CHNA report? 

I started off by going to the community meetings, taking notes, and then providing that information back to each department. After all the responses were recorded, we worked on analyzing the data. We were each assigned two to three hospitals to break down the data into the requested formatting.

What did you learn from this experience?

It’s really interesting to work with such a large amount of data. I got to hear feedback from patients and families and found out what they’re looking for or what’s lacking. Working with MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, I learned that there is a lack of information dissemination. Patients and families aren’t aware of a lot of the support and services that are available to them or where to go to look for that information. 

It’s interesting to see the different results based on different zip codes. Comparing reports for the longitudinal analysis helped me understand how far the hospitals have come. It was really cool to see some changes that have been made based on the previous community needs assessments.

How did you get involved with the project?

Dean King had mentioned the opportunity and it was a great experience to get exposed to a report of this nature and size. I’m looking to go into health care administration so it was a perfect fit for me. We worked directly with Amelia Bedri [G’20] for the data analysis portion. 

How does the School of Health encourage you?

It’s a great school with great professors. It’s really cool that they allow students to be a part of opportunities like this one. I think it’s a great privilege to live in this area and work to learn more about it; it helps you understand the different aspects of the community. It definitely inspires me to take a leadership role in health care and get involved in more projects of this nature because I found it really interesting and rewarding. 


sylvie bissell (H'26)

Sylvie Bissell (H’26) is an undergraduate student studying global science in the School of Health. Bissell also contributed to the CHNA report by gathering and analyzing community data. 

What inspired you to get involved with the project?  

I took a class called Conversations in Health: Global to Local taught by professor John Monahan. He would bring in public health professionals as speakers and we would just get to ask them questions. One of those speakers was [School of Health] Dean King and he mentioned the CHNA project. I went up to him afterward and asked how I could be involved.

How did you contribute to the CHNA report?

There were four students that contributed to the secondary data collection part of the process. We reviewed all of the tables and sections from the previous reports and found the statistics from the latest sources. Working remotely over the summer of 2023, we tried to use the exact same sources and source materials as the other reports. I had some experience with secondary data collection for classes, but this felt like a new experience for me. We were working with data that actually mattered to real people. 

Then I attended the four input sessions at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, and MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center. I worked as a note taker. I really enjoyed getting to hear the actual perspectives of people who were being impacted by MedStar policies.

What did you learn from this experience?

I heard a lot of different perspectives on health from different health needs and backgrounds which was eye-opening for me, especially for someone like me who wants to work in public health. I learned that the problem wasn’t that people were frustrated with the hospital system in general, but rather other factors hindered their ability to access health care or to live healthily. It was interesting to hear about all of those issues and how MedStar can help, but also that we need a more widespread systemic solution to some of these issues. 

How does this help your career?

I’m from Portland, Oregon and my dad works in ER and hospital administration. I’ve talked with him about the frustrations of the hospital care system and how it’s difficult for them to actually do good work sometimes because of the complicated system. The U.S. health care system is really complex and inefficient. This was a great way to hear people from DC talk about their health needs. I hope I get to participate in other work like that in the future. I think it will be something that I take with me, and I’ve definitely learned a lot by participating.

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