About Mykayla O’Brien

Mykayla O’Brien, MPH currently works for a local health department in North Carolina implementing a community-based program centered around wellness. Wellness is a very broad, yet key pillar in shifting our mindset from survival mode to flourishing. It is imperative to take charge of your health and fuel your body appropriately to improve your health outcomes and quality of life. This can be achieved through the application of health behavior theories, health advocacy, and health communications. Public Health is foundational to addressing the exponential growth of chronic illness, social determinants of health, cultural humility, and building resilient communities. My work is actively centered around improving the health outcomes of my direct and indirect community members which has led to the perfect pairing of sharing my trials and tribulations within the classroom setting for my students to learn from and hopefully implement as they enter the field or continue their work in public health.

Community Engagement

There are many ways to engage with a community to better meet their needs. One of my favorite baseline measurement tools is reviewing and/or performing a Community Needs Assessment (CNA). One perk of performing a CNA is that you can incorporate questions specific to your area of interest to ensure you are utilizing your resources to their maximum potential. In addition to a CNA, I like to go out into the community and engage in dialogue to provide a safe place for their voices be heard and incorporated into program and policy development. Lastly, I like to provide a seat at the table for a community champion to be present, seen, and heard by the other stakeholders involved in the decision-making efforts. It is important to instill confidence in our community  members to be advocates of their health and safety. I continue to build relationships with both community organizations and members to expand this effect to more and more people. Through achieving this buy in within the community you will begin to see the impacts expand and start to reach whole populations.


  • PH 6010 Public Health & Health Policy
  • PH 6060 Social & Behavioral Public Health
  • PH 6170 Management in Health Services & Medical Care
  • PH 6920 Applied Practice Experience

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