Health & Medicine is pleased to welcome our spring equity interns! - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Health & Medicine is pleased to welcome our spring equity interns! 

February 5, 2024

Health & Medicine is proud to introduce our newest cohort of spring equity interns, who bring fresh perspectives and diverse experiences to our ongoing commitment to healthcare equity.

Jessica Coffee, MS candidate 

Jessica Coffee earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology and a PharmD from the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Health Information Management, also at UIC. She previously worked in the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine Pharmacy at the University of Chicago, which allowed her to experience working with a patient population that is much like the people she grew up around, being born and raised in the Chicago area.  

Passionate about addressing healthcare disparities, Jessica is a staunch advocate for the Black community within the healthcare sector. As a testament to her commitment, she played a pivotal role as a founding member of the Black Pharmacy Student Association during her time at the UIC College of Pharmacy. 

With a unique blend of clinical expertise and a fervent dedication to advancing healthcare equity, Jessica aspires to become a Clinical Informaticist Specialist. Her trajectory aligns with a broader vision of leveraging information management to improve clinical outcomes and bridge gaps in healthcare delivery. In a rapidly evolving landscape, Jessica is poised to make lasting contributions at the intersection of healthcare, information technology, and community advocacy. 

In her free time, Jessica enjoys spending time at cafes and restaurants in downtown Chicago. She is also learning Korean to eventually travel to South Korea and better communicate with her significant other’s family.

Gillian Cookerly-Dietrich, MPPA candidate 

Gillian is currently a master’s in public policy and administration student at Northwestern University in the accelerated program, with an anticipated graduation in August 2024. She graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2022 with a B.A. in Political Science and Global Studies, and during her final semester, she served as a Chicago Intern for the Office of Senator Tammy Duckworth. Gillian spent the past year in Bogotá, Colombia, completing a Fulbright Award as an English Teaching Assistant before beginning at Northwestern. She has a passion for public service, health equity, and youth development, as is evident through her time spent as a summer camp coordinator, and she hopes to blend these passions into a career in Public Policy Research to help inform policy that puts people at the forefront of politics. “In her free time, Gillian loves to cook, travel, swim, and spend quality time with her friends and her two cats. 

Megan Hite, MBA/MPH candidate 

Megan is studying at DePaul University and is expected to graduate with a master’s in business administration and public health by May 2026. As a certified Community Health Worker, she is focusing her MPH on Community Health and will receive a Health Administration Certificate. After experience with Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP), Manchester University’s Medical Practicum, and Oak Street Health- Speedway clinic, Megan was trained to assess the inequities in healthcare and develop creative strategies to close those gaps. Her primary interests include universal healthcare, preventative care, social justice, and healthcare equity. Her long-term goal is to become an executive director of a healthcare department that aligns with her interests and values. In her free time, Megan says she likes to stay creative by doing crafts and reading books with her cat, Fudge.   

For more information about Health & Medicine’s equity internship program, visit Interested in sponsoring one of our interns? Contact Shannon Sweetnam at