Two Dual Degree Students Receive Prestigious National Public Health Award

Fresh off commencement ceremonies, dual degree graduates Jeremiah Davis, MD, MPH, and MariaLisa Itzoe, DO, MPH, were recently recognized with the the U.S. Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Award! This award is given to medical students who have demonstrated passion and dedication to public health within the medical profession by helping to address public health issues in their communities.

Jeremiah Davis, MD, MPH is a recent graduate of Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC) and Jefferson College of Population Health (JCPH), who is preparing to start his residency program in Family Medicine at Duke University. “Jeremiah is dedicated, committed, hardworking and approachable. In the MPH program, he quickly realized that policy and advocacy were his passion. He worked hard to engage undergraduates in efforts to reduce and eliminate tobacco use on campus,” states MPH Program Director, Rosie Frasso, PhD, MSc, MSc, CPH.  Jeremiah believes the skills he’s gained will transfer to many other projects in the future.

Reflecting on the connections between medicine and public health, Jeremiah explains, “ I think a foundational public health knowledge is essential to any healthcare provider that practices in primary care in any facet. As providers, we must collectively do a better job of understanding and helping to address the upstream factors of our patients’ disease presentations.”

 “Receiving this recognition motivates me to keep going with my work to address health equity in this country. I’m excited to meet patients on a one-to-level, but also thrilled about the opportunity to continue practicing public health within the Duke Health System and Durham County.” 

MariaLisa Itzoe, DO, MPH recently graduated from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) and JCPH.  MariaLisa is preparing to do an Internal Medicine Residency at Pennsylvania Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

“It is truly an honor to have been nominated for, and to have received this award. I see public health as in integral component of medicine and healthcare. It is humbling to be recognized by the U.S. Public Health Service Physician Advisory Committee. I am thrilled to begin serving my patients as a physician guided by my public health training,” states MariaLisa.

Dr. Frasso describes MariaLisa as talented, creative, and exceedingly organized. “As soon as she arrived at JCPH her ability to look at the big picture was clear. A talented harpist, she decided to combine her love of music and her desire to help others into a cool capstone project. The result was an amazing, downloadable musical children’s book promoting body positivity, featured in Jefferson’s The Nexus, along with a  subsequent publication in Health Promotion Practice.”

MariaLisa plans to pursue a gastroenterology fellowship following residency and integrate her public health interest of improving health communications and working with underserved populations.