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Tina Cheng

Tina Cheng | Master of Public Health

Who is Tina?

My name is Tina, and I am a second-year Master of Public Health student at SPPH. As a young scholar, I am fascinated by the life-course approach in public health promotion and prevention. I have a strong appreciation for the social determinants of health and am passionate about effective knowledge translations between researchers and policymakers to combat health disparities. I am currently working as a researcher for a few different cool studies, including:

  1. Promoting unstructured outdoor play in early childhood development.
  2. Combating COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among local young adults via gamification.
  3. Quality improving patient discharge using QR-code based intervention at the Vancouver General Hospital’s Emergency Department.
  4. Empowering ethnic elders to better access the British Columbia health system through community forums and workshops.

I am a strong advocator for health information equity, and some of my deliverables include recent publication at PLoS One and being the 2021 BC Health Talk contest winner. I believe research is most powerful when it serves as the voice of the marginalized, translating sound findings into impactful change on a systematic level.

What project(s) are you currently working on at MPH?

I recently completed my practicum with the Women’s Maternal and Early Childhood Health team at the Ministry of Health. I had the opportunity to support ongoing revisions of Service Standards for the early childhood population in BC. I conducted a literature review on the importance of the early years with key indicators to monitor success, a jurisdictional scan of early childhood health frameworks and a briefing note presenting my findings. Through this practicum, I was trained in strategic framing, applied GBA+ and health equity lenses in analysis, and engaged in knowledge translation. I have gained a deeper understanding of evidence-based policymaking and the importance of communication as a scholar, where simply providing evidence does not guarantee behavioural or policy change.

What insights have you gained from your time as an MPH student?

Besides undergoing rigorous training in epidemiological concepts and methods and quantitative/qualitative research skills, I have gained a deep appreciation of the role of public health research in the current COVID-19 pandemic. I especially enjoyed learning from my peers, who had an incredibly diverse background and passion for different research topics.

What advice would you give to someone interested in your field of study?

For anyone interested in any field of public health, I would say try to be involved in relevant work. Besides research, my decision to apply to the MPH program at UBC was largely inspired by my volunteer work at a local harm reduction clinic and local senior home as a music therapy volunteer. Working with a diverse demographic has been so rewarding and I learned to consider the socio-ecological factors behind each problem and utilize an inclusive lens in research design.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I like to read or crochet pet collars for my three furry friends at home in my free time. I am a big fan of Studio Ghibli and have probably watched the movie “The Whisper of the Heart” more than 20 times. I am also a huge foodie and love trying out new recipes or looking for good places to eat in town. On sunny days, I take advantage of Vancouver’s beautiful outdoor and go for a hike/walk.

Where should people go to learn more about your work?

Please feel free to connect me via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tina-cheng-6480281a3


To read more stories, please visit: https://www.spph.ubc.ca/student-profile-miniseries

Published on March 2022.

This interview was coordinated by Ariana Choi.