Tonya had been a junior at Douglass College (Rutgers University) where she majored in Public Health and minored in Biology during the time of her internship. She was originally interested in Project L/EARN because it offered the opportunity for her to work in a health related field. Tonya’s future plans include completing the five-year bachelors/masters in Public Health offered jointly by Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Those will be the first steps in achieving her goal of a productive career in research where she is interested in having an impact on state health policy reform specifically related to access to care, public insurance and a state insurance plan.
Project L/EARN had given Tonya the opportunity to work with “motivated, intelligent women who had similar interests.” She had found the guest speakers particularly enlightening because they not only offered insight into important health issues but they presented the opportunity for discussions and were a welcome diversion from the statistical aspect of the program.
Tonya’s project had investigated the determinants of physician acceptance of the uninsured and Medicaid/SCHIP patients. The study had aimed to identify policies that will result in greater acceptance of publicly insured patients and uninsured patients by physicians. In addition, the study also encourages future research in areas concerning New Jersey health care policy.