John is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). His passion lies in healthcare, specifically primary care, where he hopes to have a career in developing and implementing interventions that facilitate health behavior change, improve the patient experience, and reduce health inequalities. He believes that disruptive change is needed in the healthcare system now more than ever to address the twin crises of rising rates of chronic conditions and rising costs.
For the last two years, he has worked as a research assistant in the UAB Division of Preventive Medicine working on projects related to community health, mobile health, and diabetes management. Through these projects, he has conducted door-to-door surveys in a rural community, been involved with the development of a mobile application for use by community health workers, and recruited participants for various projects at farmers markets, hospitals, churches, and community centers.
During his time as an undergraduate, he has volunteered with various free clinics including the M-POWER Health Center and the medical-student run Equal Access Birmingham (EAB). In 2014, he was involved with the grassroots movement Bama Covered, a student-led organization dedicated to educating and enrolling people in the new healthcare exchanges established through the Affordable Care Act. With Bama Covered, he served as a “Connector” and team leader, going out into the larger Birmingham community and educating others about their new options and referring them to “Navigators” who could aid them in the application and enrollment process.
He serves as a volunteer at the YWCA Family Resource Center in the Woodlawn neighborhood, where he is affectionately called Mr. J. Since 2014, he has been involved with the center working as a tutor, helping to start a community garden, and serving as an assistant teacher in their family cooking class.
He is studying for an Individually Designed Major in the Social Determinants of Health, a major that includes coursework in Economics, Social Work, Sociology, Health Care Management, Health Education, and Public Health. He is a student in the UAB Honors College and the Experiential Learning Scholars Program.