Q&A with Kristina Mody, Public Health Alumni Association board member

Kristina ModyKristina Mody MPH '16 began serving on the PHAA Board of Director in 2016 and currently services on the Professional Development Committee. Kristina received an MPH from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health in 2016 from the Online/On-campus Master of Public Health Program (OOMPH). She is a senior program associate at the California Health Care Safety Net Institute in Oakland, where she designs and implements programs that support California's public hospitals and health systems to improve their care delivery systems.

Q. Tell us about your position at the California Health Care Safety Net Institute.
A. The Safety Net Institute (SNI) is the program and quality improvement affiliate of the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, the trade association that represents California’s public and University of California hospitals. We design and provide educational offerings to our members to help them reach their goals of delivery system transformation and providing equitable care for all Californians. 

Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. My professional background before was at Kaiser Permanente, during which I began my studies at SPH’s OOMPH program in 2014. I loved learning about evaluation, program planning and understanding the social determinants of health, which led me to seek a job more directly in service of the California safety net. Today, I am driven by the mission of supporting the essential, challenging work of our member health systems. 

Q. What is most challenging about your job?
A. We’re a small but mighty team with very high standards, so I’m constantly challenged to bring my best work forward while wearing several hats―but my coworkers and the work of our members constantly inspire me to do so.

Q. How do you balance work, travel and your PHAA Board commitment?
A. Honestly, after recently coming off working full time and pursuing a masters, the commitment felt like a smooth transition!

Q. How did the education you received at the SPH help you in your current work?
A. My public health background was absolutely essential to understand the context of my work, especially the policy coursework. Additionally, the international network I was able to develop via OOMPH has been so helpful - and I’m sure will continue to be so! 

Q. What motivated you to become involved with the PHAA Board?
A. As the OOMPH program is relatively new to SPH, there are still more linkages that can be made between the online program and the full on-campus programs. It’s an exciting time for SPH as they continue to grow OOMPH program, which I’m so pleased about, as it offers such a high-quality education for full-time professionals all over the world. 

Q. What’s your favorite quotation?
A. “Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.” ― Neil Gaiman