Tuesday, February 9, 2016

FWS Student Highlights: Nafisa Afrin

The primary goal of my research has been to look at alcohol laws of multiple states as well as counties to see how they vary. Dry states have more stringent alcohol policy than wet states, thus greatly affecting the overall health of that population. As the number of on premise alcohol outlet increases, so does the number of people acquiring STDs, teen pregnancy, fetal alcohol syndrome, road injuries and many more. Thus the health outcome has an enormous impact on that state’s as well as the nation’s healthcare policies and budget. My mentor, associate professor of the Global and Community Health department Dr. Matthew Rossheim, has published research article based on the findings of Texas’ alcohol policy and health outcome data which we are using as a prototype for other states. A lot of the time my project requires me to clean up the data we found on states’ ABC websites so that the data is more effective and relatable to our research. Before doing anything else, however, I have to choose a state and look for the times local option elections took place where a dry county voted to become wet and vice versa. Annual ABC reports regarding alcohol sale, licensing, and election results are great resources that I have to look for from time to time. ABC boards with insufficient funding have less resources available to the public, making our research more challenging. I have weekly meetings with my mentor where we go over newly acquired findings and the possibilities they present. As a junior who’s majoring in biology and want to be a Physician Assistant, this opportunity has provided me a great deal of insight into community health, making me more knowledgeable and responsible. The practicality of these research findings are making me more conscious and aware of United States’ health policy. Our goal is to compile and present irrefutable data to federal government in a hope that policymakers will use these data in order to improve the lives of people.