Diana Whitney, Baylor College of Medicine
Diana plans to work with Fellow Liz Mercer at The Beacon, a Houston-area day center affiliated with HOMES Clinic, a student-run clinic for the homeless. They will utilize a community-based participatory approach to identify and address health & hygiene needs specific to homeless women. They plan to collaborate with community members at the Beacon to develop an focused intervention that targets women’s voiced concerns, including but not limited to issues surrounding family planning, reproductive health, domestic violence, and menstrual hygiene.

I’m currently a 3rd year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. For my Schweitzer project, I’ll be partnering with Liz Mercer, a 1st year medical student at UT Houston Medical School on a project aimed at addressing the personal hygiene and reproductive health needs of homeless women in Houston. Initially we see our project focusing on unique health needs related to personal/menstrual hygiene among homeless women (e.g. reliable access to feminine hygiene products), but anticipate it may expand to include issues related to family planning, reproductive health, and domestic violence, among others. Our project will largely consist of needs assessments with local agencies that serve homeless women (HOMES Clinic, Legacy Clinic, Star of Hope, etc), followed by development and implementation of a targeted intervention that specifically addresses womens’ voiced concerns. I’m looking forward to joining a community of like-minded, service-focused people who want to understand and tackle some of the socio-economic, macro causes of healthcare problems. I’m especially excited to work with Fellows from such a diverse range of fields—social work, dentistry, public health, and medicine—I have so much I to learn from you all!

A few fun facts about me: I worked as a patient advocate in Nepal for a year after college, so speak fluent Nepali. I also love to run; before returning to Houston for med school, I coached a team of runners based out of several shelter facilities in Boston as part of a program called Back on My Feet, a national organization that uses running to teach critical work and life skills to individuals living in homeless shelters.