Lauren MacHarg

MPH, Health Services, French


My name is Lauren MacHarg and I am currently a master of public health student pursuing a concentration in Global Health, and Health Systems and Policy. I am interested in exploring how governments and ministries of health carry out public health and medical initiatives. Through my work experience and studies, I have realized that public health is not always fully implemented at the policy or population level. Public health outcomes are inherently influenced by political, cultural and societal barriers. Communication is vitally important to public health, and as the world becomes more connected and integrated, there is a greater propensity for misinterpretation and distrust when cultures or beliefs differ. I believe that understanding languages and cultures that are different from my own will strengthen my ability to work and communicate public health endeavors in a global context. In many instances, the United States’ approaches to immigration, health care, public health, gun laws and so on are in stark contrast to Canada’s. I hope that by studying French through the Canadian Center FLAS fellowship, I will better understand why these approaches differ and how ministry and government decisions impact the health of a given population. Additionally, learning French will increase my ability to work with various governments, non-profits, NGOs, and ministries in North America, Europe and Africa. I am looking forward to spending my summer in Québec and returning to UW to continue my French studies during the 2019–2020 academic year.