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Institute for Health Care Policy and Aging Research
Alison Hernandez
Project L/EARN Alumna - 2012
Alison Hernandez
The Influence of Perceived Negative Consequences of Illness and Treatment on Engagement in End-of-Life Discussions
Howard Leventhal, Ph.D.
Board of Governors Professor of Health Psychology
Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology

Alison Hernandez is currently a fourth year doctor of pharmacy candidate at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. She aspires to be part of the first group of students to finish a new 7 year PharmD/MPH dual degree curriculum. She decided to participate in Project L/EARN because the “support system and new perspective it offered was unlike any other”. Coming from a clinical background, Project L/EARN opened Alison’s eyes to social and health services research. She would now like to pursue a career that would allow her to have both clinical and research experience.

The most challenging part of the program for Alison was keeping focused while weeding through the vast amount of literature on her topic. However, over the summer Alison found a balance between being comprehensive in her analysis and utilizing her time wisely. After putting extensive effort into her own research she can better appreciate the research that goes into substantiating the clinical interventions that she hopes to implement as a pharmacist.

During this summer Alison worked with Dr. Howard Leventhal and Dr. Susan Bodnar-Deren. She was grateful for having a chance to work with both of these amazing individuals. Dr. Leventhal inspired her to become more knowledgeable about health services theories and to reach for greater heights. Dr. Bodnar-Deren showed her dedication and kindness during the most difficult parts of the project. Through their guidance, Alison gained the tools and motivation to complete her project with pride. Alison’s project looked at factors that motivate patients to engage in advanced care planning; specifically, perception of illness consequence and treatment consequence. Alison wants future interns to “remember how it felt to be accepted to this prestigious program. It will renew your excitement about this opportunity and give you the determination to succeed.”

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