MCHEPI Trainee Spotlight: Madeline Mangiaracina

My name is Madeline Mangiaracina, and I am a second-year MPH student in the Maternal Child Health Epidemiology concentration. This past summer I completed my Applied Practice Experience as a Research Assistant for UIC’s participation in Evaluation of Adolescent Health Promotion in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) - a collaborative effort between the Policy, Practice, and Prevention Research Center and CPS’s Office of Student Health and Wellness (OSHW) Sexual Health Team.

The main deliverable I produced was a data report, LGBTQ Health in Chicago Public Schools: Working Towards Equity, using the 2019 Chicago Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey (YRBS) data set. This report compiled findings from the 2019 YRBS focused on the health and experiences of LGBTQ high school students in CPS. As the report describes in detail, LGBTQ youth in Chicago face significantly higher rates of depression, suicidality, substance use, bullying, and violence, compared to their non-LGBTQ peers. In addition, the report outlined efforts within CPS to address these disparate health outcomes and provided suggestions for how communities can work to address LGBTQ health equity issues.

I am hopeful that this report will be useful to many MCH folks who work with LGBTQ+ youth in Chicago and will contribute to gender inclusivity in the data available. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to conduct this analysis and be a part of such important and needed work. Since the report’s publication, I have had the privilege to present our findings at the 2020 DePaul Health Equity & Social Justice Conference and will continue to build upon this research for my Capstone. I felt confident conducting this analysis after completing my first year of course work, which was a great feeling! My APE experience left me feeling so glad that I chose UIC for my MPH program because of its strong emphasis on applied MCH Epi skills.