Krystal Sarcone

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Though Brown University's faculty and pupils have been engaging in public health work for decades, the actual School of Public Health is still officially in its infancy, only having been recently switched from a "Public Health Program" under the Alpert Medical School to Brown University's School of Public Health in July of 2013. 


"The Brown University School of Public health takes a “lifelong health” approach to improving people’s lives. It begins before conception, through research on environmental exposures that affect fertility and cause birth defects. It continues through the prime of life: public health at Brown targets the behavioral choices that threaten well-being—tobacco and substance abuse, obesity, risky sexual behaviors—and encourage wellness and healthy aging—physical activity, nutrition, injury prevention. And at the end of life, Brown researchers advocate for a patient-centered, research-based approach to terminal illness that considers a person’s values and beliefs. This work has an impact on people around the world thanks to partnerships forged locally and globally, from Providence’s South Side to South Africa.


The School of Public Health’s 11 nationally renowned research centers and institutes focus training and research on key areas including evidence based medicine, HIV/AIDS, statistical sciences, global health, primary care, preventive medicine, and community health. The centers’ interdisciplinary nature gives them a broad, influential voice in the national dialogue, and offers students meaningful opportunities to conduct research and effect change."


I am in the MPH Program (Master's of Public Health) and am in the the Global Health track. I am currently in my second semester and couldn't be happier with the quality of the program, school, resources and support I receive here. I feel truly fortunate to be a part of such an incredible community.

Courses Completed:

Currently Enrolled In:

  • The Burden of Disease in Developing Countries with Stephen T McGarvey, PhD, MPH
  • Introduction to Methods in Epidemiologic Research with Mark N. Lurie, PhD

Internship/Field Experience:

For my required field experience I will be assessing, improving, designing and implementing a more quality data collection protocol for quality of life/outcome surveys for children with spinal deformity.


I will be working with research superstar Sarah Martineck RPA and felt motivated to concentrate on this project because after dozens of medical missions and implementing the standard surveys, I was consistently disappointed in the quality of them and particularly felt that for children that were wheelchair-bound, the questions were often inadequate in evaluating their quality of life. Many of the questions were phrased in ways that didn't allow for patients to answer "does not apply." For example, "How far can you walk without pain? A) Unlimited B) Several miles/hours C) A couple miles or 1 hour without pain D) Less than a mile/ less than an hour. There is no option for patients to put that they are non-walkers and thus this questions go answered and show up as missing data, just as it would if someone just forgot to answer the question or for whatever reason didn't want to answer the question. 


  • Global Health Nutrition with  Stephen T McGarvey, PhD, MPH
  • Applied Research Methods with Melissa A. Clark, Ph.D.
  • Designing and Evaluating Public Health Interventions with Patricia Markham Risica, DrPH

Thesis Ramblings:

In April I will be submitting the official paperwork to declare my thesis topic and am still in the process of planning the details of what topic I wish to dedicate a significant amount of brain power to over the next year. Right now I am considering these two topics:


  1. Redesigning and expanding the UNs structure for Humanitarian Relief to apply to all Disaster Management and thus involving all seven phases of disaster management and not just the three most proximal phases.
     
  2. Since obesity is a real concern in the middle east, and more so for women... I am interested in assessing the availability of exercise facilities in Arabic/predominately Muslim cultures (location TBD) that are female friendly.

    Stay tuned for what ends up being my topic and the work I plan to do over the summer to produce a quality thesis on either topic!