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Tatiane Santos selected Public Voices Fellow by AcademyHealth

David Gladow
Tatiane Santos

Tatiane Santos, Health Policy and Management assistant professor at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, has been selected as one of 20 Leaders as Public Voices fellows at AcademyHealth, the inaugural cohort to receive that honor.

The Public Voices fellowship bills itself as a national initiative to change who writes history and create a more just world. The program involves professional journalists and editors training the selected fellows, who in turn can then use those skills to write and place their work in mainstream media outlets.

Santos saw the fellowship as an opportunity to see her research -- which includes work on policy reform relating to public health -- eventually be applied in a larger context.

“I applied for this fellowship because I want my research to have an actual impact on policies and population well-being,” Santos said. “I also like the fellowship's commitment to bring ‘underrepresented voices’ to the public.”

Santos finds the skill of being able to make one’s work digestible for a larger audience to be an important and achievable one for scientists, who must now often battle misinformation rampant along the Internet and in the media.

“I think that all scientists can benefit from having a public voice that is approachable and relatable.” Santos said. “In my area of health policy research in which opportunities for change may only exist in small windows and for brief periods of time, being able to communicate science to a non-scientific audience is critical.”

The Public Voices fellowship was highly competitive, and as a national initiative to elevate voices which often go unheard, will be primarily composed of excluded and underrepresented voices, including women and people of color.

A larger goal of the fellowship will be for the individuals involved to be able to shape their fields and foster vital conversations.

The fellowship was launched in partnership with the OpEd Project, part of a family of projects designed to move health services research and policy toward higher impact, more equitable research.

“After the 3-day kick-off meetings, I can truly say that they're committed to supporting each fellow ‘put their voices out there’ in an impactful way,” Santos said.