Alumni Highlight – Valeriya graduated from Omsk Medical University, Russia, in 1992, went through a surgical fellowship program, and then worked as a surgeon for five years. While working with patients who were workers at a nuclear plant, she encountered several relatively young patients with prostate cancer and testicular cancer. She realized the hospital where she practiced could offer a screening program for the city. She communicated with the hospital administration to purchase specialized ultrasound equipment and develop an agreement with a biochemical regional laboratory. She also worked with the media to create educational and promotional materials for the city residents. The screening programs, her first public health endeavor, were a pioneering project at that time in Russia.
In 2003, Valeriya immigrated to the United States, and in 2005 she matriculated to the Master of Public Health program at UNMC’s College of Public Health. She was the first recipient of the Robert D. Sparks Student Research award at COPH for her work evaluating the impact of a Nebraska law regulating the use of asthma medications in schools. Since her graduation in 2007, Valeriya has worked at The Nebraska Medical Center as clinical quality coordinator for the Solid Organ Transplant program. In this role, Valeriya monitors and provides analysis of patient outcome data such as mortality, graft rejection, infectious complications, length of stay, and readmissions to nurses, physicians, and other stakeholders. She also monitors the transplant center’s compliance with federal regulations and works collaboratively on quality improvement projects. In 2010, she became certified in Medical Quality by the American Board of Medical Quality.
Currently, Valeriya is a doctoral student in the Biomedical Informatics program at UNMC and was recently elected as the president of the COPH Alumni Association.
Valeriya’s advice to current students:
Build a solid portfolio of activities and experience related to real-life projects.
Develop strong skills in statistical analyses and the use of statistical programs, and monitor market demand for analytics with Big Data in health care. This will make COPH graduates more competitive and successful as demand for analytics and informatics in health care is growing at a rapid pace.