Name: Lukenson Francois
Program: Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Systems Administration and Policy
Expected Graduation Date: May 2023
Why did you choose this field of study? Why did you choose the program at MSU?
The Haitian health system’s geographical, cultural, financial, and organizational challenges to improve health access for the population have always captured my attention and driven my thoughts on how I might best contribute to solving the puzzle. During my journey as a student and a health professional, I have been both a witness and a victim of the consequences of those barriers that have made health services so difficult to reach in my native country. Consequently, a ministerial calling triggered my passion for Public Health which is embedded in the conviction that in-depth studies in this field can help me better understand the nature of health problems, the proximal and distal factors that underlie their emergence, their mode of distribution, along with the multiple obstacles to quality health care access in the system. After completing my medical degree, this led me to pursue higher studies in Healthcare Management in Haiti, and now in Health Systems Administration and Policy at Montclair State University (MSU) with the financial support of the Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship program.
The Public Health program at MSU, namely the concentration in Health Systems Administration and Policy, stands alone by its comprehensiveness and particular emphasis on the principles of social justice and equity. The curriculum is designed in an integrated and practical way that combines all the relevant theories and techniques with hands-on experience to develop vital and competitive competencies for culturally responsive health leaders.
What are the best parts of your program?
The exciting parts of this program are the broad range of academic resources dedicated to shaping an optimal understanding of health policy, leadership, and management. All this is connected to the real world through class discussions and exchanges, pragmatic insights from experts invited to share their experiences with students, and the internship program where the latter keep learning with university assistance from organizations working in the field.
What advice would you give to a prospective student in your field?
So far in my career, I have come to know that cultural humility is a critical attitude to being a good student and impactful servant in the field of public health. A prospective student who cares about advancing universal health coverage will fall in love with how different subfields of health and social sciences are integrated into this program at MSU to craft a comprehensive public health approach that values cultural responsiveness, equity, and social justice.
How is your program preparing you for working in your field?
This program is preparing me to amplify my contribution to the health sector by refining my conceptual, technical, and interpersonal skills which are very critical to fulfilling the strategic and operational roles of the public health professional. As a health care entrepreneur and manager, I am looking forward to putting those skills and competencies at the service of the health sector in general and specifically of the Haitian health system and ACCES-Sante, a community health organization that I founded in 2012 to help tackle the barriers to health care access in Haiti.