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Sarah Harward - Class of 2023

Sarah Harward + Familiy

  • During my last semester in the MPH program, I got a job at SelectHealth on their Quality Provider Performance team. This team partnered with health clinics all over the state of Utah to help primary care doctors work on certain metrics in preventative, population-level care, such as rates of immunizations, cancer screenings, and well-child checks. Then, I was offered a position right after graduation at Primary Children's Hospital. I currently work on the Pediatric Network team there. My title is Business Operations Coordinator; I do program management for several behavioral health projects and initiatives. I help organize steering committees that address pediatric behavioral health. I get to work with a lot of amazing leaders at Primary Children's such as executive directors, medical directors, and behavioral health providers. The Pediatric Network team is focused on population health, which I learned I had a huge interest in while I was in my MPH program at BYU. The teams I am a part of develop strategies to address pediatric mental and behavioral health issues in the community, which means I get to work with several community pediatric practices as well.

    There is also another really cool organization I get to work with through Primary Children's. The program is called Nurse Family Partnership (NFP), which is a home visitation program for at-risk mothers. The program pairs nurses with moms who are early in their first pregnancy and have Social Determinants of Health needs. I get to facilitate monthly meetings with health departments who are doing an amazing job at delivering NFP to these at-risk mothers, who are often teenagers or young adults with little support. Intermountain is able to help fund these programs, which is why I get to be involved. It's an amazing program and I feel lucky to get a front row seat to see these people who are driving incredible results in the lives of vulnerable moms and babies!
  • It has always been my dream to work at Primary Children's! I grew up being a patient there because I had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. For the longest time I wondered what work there was at Primary Children's that was not clinical, but that had a focus on community health and wellness in general. I found my answer in hospital leadership and population health! I am passionate about delivering care not just to individual children as they come to the hospital, but to large populations of children throughout the community. I was excited to find that Intermountain is heavily involved in work like that, and that they have a large community health focus (as any non-profit hospital will).
  • Program management, definitely! Being able to organize timelines, Gantt charts, and budgets, etc., has been important. My epidemiology and biostatistics classes taught me to look at studies and outcomes more deeply - it's important in my job to identify root causes and consider what is contributing to certain outcomes. Above all, I would not be in this position if it weren't for my administrative internship at Primary Children's that I did between my first and second year of the MPH program. During this internship, I learned what I was really passionate about and I was able to learn about opportunities at Primary Children's and identify what teams I wanted to be involved in after graduation. I also made connections with leaders at the hospital that helped me get to where I am today, and continue to help me in my position now.
  • My master's changed the way I see the world! Because of what I learned in my master's, I pass less judgement when I see people who are different than I am or are choosing to live different lifestyles. One of the most valuable lessons I learned from my program is that there is a lot more going on underneath the surface than what we are seeing on the outside with people, and public health can get at the "why" of their behavior and lifestyle. That has been an incredibly valuable lesson both in my personal life and work life. From my master's, I learned that differences and conflict don't always need to be a bad thing, and that has helped a lot in my career so far too.