Rachel Mazzara would need super powers to accomplish everything that she wants to achieve in the health care field. But for now, the Marquette University graduate is just getting started.
After graduating from Marquette with a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Sciences, Mazzara applied for the Wisconsin HealthCorps program to gain a year of experience in public health before attending graduate school. During that year, Mazzara worked with Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin (the Alliance) in topic areas ranging from asthma to early literacy to emergency care and more.
As the end of her year at the Alliance quickly approaches, Mazzara’s goals for the future continue to grow with enthusiasm for what she hopes to one day accomplish.
“I feel like I need super powers to accomplish everything that I want to do,” she said with a laugh. “I’m a passionate person and I throw myself in 120% with everything I do, no matter how small. When it comes to something such as making health equity possible for all kids, which is where my dreams stand now, the amount of work needed seems insurmountable.”
Making health equity accessible to all populations, especially children, is what Mazzara dreams of doing. After starting her HealthCorps position at the Alliance, Mazzara worked with all seven of the Alliance’s initiatives. Some of her favorite memories include attending the Keeping Kids Alive in Wisconsin Conference, participating in grant writing with the Asthma initiative and mapping the reach of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin with diverse populations.
One of the most impactful, and important, themes Mazzara learned about in her time at the Alliance relates to social determinants of health and racial disparities when it comes to accessing healthcare.
“Social determinants of health impact all of our work, and they impact people in so many different ways,” she said. “I really enjoyed learning about this because it’s a challenging topic to try and tackle within a project, but it’s such a worthy cause because it has such a large impact on so many different people.”
Learning about social determinants of health and racial disparities has always been a topic on Mazzara’s mind. During her undergraduate education at Marquette she took multiple trips to New Orleans to help out the individuals impacted by Hurricane Katrina which struck in 2005. Even today, individuals that were in the storm’s destructive path are still struggling with finding the necessary resources to rebuild their life.
To help individuals that are stricken by disaster, Mazzara plans to attend Saint Louis University – where she received a research grant — in the fall to pursue a Masters of Public Health with a focus in Biosecurity and Disaster Preparedness.
When all is said and done, and when her super powers start to take charge, Mazzara hopes to work in a role that positively impacts children’s health and beyond.
“I want to help make health equitable for everyone, but I definitely want to focus on the pediatric population,” she said. “Kids need all the help they can get because that’s it – they’re just kids. They sometimes get dealt a hard hand and it’s not their fault.”
“If I ever retire, I want to be able to look back and point at things and say, ‘this program I worked on is sustainable, and my idea is working to help others.’ I want to be able to propose solutions that are equitable for everyone, and I want to make a difference.”
From All of us at the Alliance
Thank you Rachel for all of your hard work, dedication, enthusiasm and positivity given to us during your time at the Alliance. We wish you the best in your future endeavors, and we know you will succeed in everything you do. Thank you, Rachel!