Muskie School of Public Service

Public Health student presents research and wins award

Public Health graduate student Sarah Gabrielson recently presented a poster in the Student Assembly section of the 2018 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Expo held in November in San Diego, California. The poster presented a comparison between the prevalence of breastfeeding rates in Maine from initiation after delivery of an infant to eight weeks after delivery. With the permission of the Manager of Surveillance Systems at the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, she used surveillance data collected through the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System during the year 2014. Evidence suggests that younger, less educated mothers and mothers insured with Medicaid stop breastfeeding in the first eight weeks after delivery at greater rates than other demographic groups in Maine. Fortunately, results from the 2017 Phase 8 PRAMS questionnaire in Maine with additional Core questions reports on reasons for not breastfeeding and stopping breastfeeding, breast pumping of milk, and insurance reimbursement for  breast pumps. This information will increase our understanding of the disproportionate decrease in breastfeeding prevalence among certain populations of Maine women. Sarah said she appreciated the guidance of Muskie School of Public Service professors Dr. Brenda Joly, in whose class she developed the first draft of the abstract and poster, and Dr. Katherine Ahrens, who helped her revise the poster. She also appreciated the support of the Office of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Professional Development Fund for funds toward this opportunity. At the conference, Sarah also won the APHA Student Assembly Campus Liaison of the Year for 2018. Congratulations to Sarah!