Alumni Spotlight: Hason Khan, Public Health
How the field of public health is empowering one current student tackle the big issues.
When asked why public health is such vital part of the healthcare field, Hason Khan, who graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a minor in Premedical and Health Studies, points to some staggering statistics.
“Over 700 million people throughout the world still don’t have access to clean drinking water and waterborne diseases kill over 3.4 million people throughout the world each year,” said Hason. “And 35% of all childhood deaths around the world are attributed to nutrition.”
For Hason, these aren’t just numbers. “Having traveled to Rwanda and seeing people struggle with access to clean water and proper nutrition first hand, these issues are ones that I am passionate about,” said Hason.
Hason appreciates the importance of public health when it comes to tackling big issues like water access and nutrition. “Public health officials work on a daily basis to keep people healthy,” said Hason. “They address why a disease or injury is occurring, rather than simply treating the disease. It’s all about prevention.”
An aspiring future physician, Hason believes that it is important for all healthcare providers to have a strong foundation in the fundamentals of public health. “Public health is a field that all future healthcare professionals should have a background in,” said Hason. "As an aspiring future physician, I know public health will define the way I approach my patients."
Hason is drawn to the complexity and variety within the public health field, which spans epidemiology and biostatistics to social and behavioral studies. During his time at MCPHS, Hason completed internships in a variety of settings, including the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center, where he worked on an on-going study on veterans with depression.
One area of public health that Hason is most passionate about is global health, an area in which he is already actively working to impact the lives of those in need.
“I founded my own non-profit dedicated to provide sustained education and wellness efforts in areas of need,” said Hason. “Since then we’ve rebuilt a school in Pakistan and have built four water wells, as well as thirty vegetable and fruit gardens in Rwanda.”
As part of his non-profit work, Hason traveled to Rwanda on an outreach trip. "We met mothers who had lost their children attempting to retrieve water and met parents who wouldn’t eat throughout the day so their children could eat," said Hason. "We met children who would wake up in the early morning each day to retrieve water for their family and would fall asleep in school because of how tired they are. "
For Hason, the international experience reinforced his own awareness of the vital need for access to clean water and nutrition. "Seeing these people struggle first hand motivated me even more to continue the work I was doing," said Hason.
Hason says that it his experience at MCPHS that has prepared him to successfully run a non-profit.
“MCPHS has given me the skills and knowledge to found my own non-profit and have a direct impact on the lives of others,” said Hason.
Hason believes that public health is the perfect fit for those looking to make their impact. His advice for those interested in a future in public health? “Be passionate about all you do,” said Hason. “If you’re interested in changing the lives of others while also leaving a positive impact on society, public health is the field for you.”