I usually try to sit down on Wednesdays to write my blog posts, but these last two weeks have been very busy. I just finished creating fact-sheet brochures for PAHO’s NCD Caribbean meeting last week (Week 4). It was very time intensive to create over 20 different files for each country, so I had to stay past 8pm for the few days that week. I don’t really mind staying at the office later though, because I get to go home after rush hour and really enjoyed in helping finish these important projects.
While working on this project, I was also able to meet people from other offices within the PAHO/WHO building. I found out that the offices near mine, on the opposite side of the building, actually deal with sustainability issues. From what I have gathered, there are at least two different sub-departments within these offices that deal with environmental issues and consumer’s health. It is amazing to find out that people are actually working on topics that pertain to my thesis and that they work on the same floor as me. I have gotten in contact with a few of the supervisors from these offices and hope to gain more information on how PAHO/WHO are participating in sustainability efforts.
Aside from work, I have been able to explore a bit more of the city. I found out that there is an indoor community pool close to where I live and that I’ve been walking past it almost every day without knowing. The pool is free and is a great, cheap way to stay active and I plan to be there often. I am also looking forward to exploring areas outside DC by taking the Metro to the furthest stops and plan to visit Mount Vernon in Virginia sometime soon.
Last weekend I was able to meet up with Adit Patel, who was in DC with other interns from the Department of Energy to visit its headquarters. I had an opportunity to show him around the city and had a great time meeting all of his fellow co-workers. If anyone else plans to visit DC this summer please feel free to contact me, so we can catch up and preserve our community at PCGS.
This week (Week 5) I was given a new project in assisting PAHO/WHO in organizing and updating its STEPwise survey methods, which are used to measure specific NCD risk factors for each country. My objective is to convert the .pdf survey into an excel file that can then be transferred to a pivot table in Access. Access provided the means of obtaining large amounts of information digitally, which will make the process of updating and distributing the surveys easier. During this project I was also able to find articles in how other countries have used the WHO’s STEPwise methodology to collect and analyze statistical data on various NCD. Although I had to brush up on my statistic knowledge, the information is very critical in finding correlation between NCDs and other factors, such as level of income, rural vs. urban residents, and other demographic information.
Another reason why I have been unable to post this week is because of Jazz Festival this month. DC holds free jazz concerts at the Kennedy Center every other day. The center is only a few block from where I work, so I’ve been attending every concert possible. The city also hold other jazz event in other neighborhoods and have been able to explore more places within the city. I have been able to go with other interns that live within my apartment building that work for various Representatives and Senators, other public health organization, and even a few interns that work in the art museums. Its a great way to network with other future professionals and have been able to make very good friend along the way.