Health Care Management & Policy Major Seeks to Advance Food Equity
March 3, 2021 – When Madison Dyer (NHS’22) took Professor Joan Riley’s course on health promotion and disease prevention, she and classmates were asked to develop a project addressing a campus-related health issue.
Working in a group, Dyer, who majors in health care management & policy, began researching food insecurity.
“I discovered a 2018 Hoya article that reported 54 percent of polled students experienced food insecurity at least once a week,” Dyer said. “This blew my mind, as it had seemed to me like everyone at Georgetown always had more food and meal swipes than they knew what to do with. It was frustrating to know how many meal swipes went to waste. Meanwhile, many of my peers walked the halls hungry.”
Building on this interest, Dyer became a member of a new Center for Social Justice student organization called Students Advancing Food Equity (SAFE), soon becoming its president.
“The club has three primary focuses: raising awareness for the issue of food insecurity, spreading education on how to eat affordably and healthy in a dorm, and finally rescuing food from being wasted by local restaurants and bringing it to the Hoya Hub, the on-campus food pantry,” Dyer explained.
Since beginning the leadership role, she has worked to expand the organization’s services to support off-campus graduate and undergraduate students, increase student participation in the organization, and improve visibility via social media (@georgetownSAFE).
“Even during COVID, we have been able to rescue from Call Your Mother, Boulangerie Christophe, Levain, Pizza Paradiso, and more,” Dyer noted. “Many SAFE members also do independent volunteer work for the larger DC community.”
‘One of the Best Decisions’
Dyer, who is from New Jersey, attended Catholic schools, and her mother was an anesthesiology resident at Georgetown Hospital (now MedStar Georgetown). “Georgetown was never a secret to me,” she said.
Additionally, her father works in Bogotá, Colombia at the United States Embassy, where she has interned and nurtured her interest in global health and foreign policy.
“Choosing HCMP, and the NHS in general, is one of the best decisions I have ever made,” Dyer said. “The NHS was my instant community at Georgetown. I have always found both the students and professors to be nothing but extraordinarily intelligent, kind, and passionate. Everyone has each other’s back and wants one another to succeed, rather than compete.”
Making a Difference
“I have also found the unique major to be quite attractive to employers when I was searching for internships,” Dyer highlighted.
Over the summer, she will intern in health care consulting at Guidehouse. “I am eager to learn more about the role of a consultant, as well as the complexity of the health care industry as a whole,” she said.
On campus, Dyer has also held leadership roles with the Georgetown University Alumni and Student Federal Credit Union, recently becoming vice president of human resources after serving as vice president of member services.
As for the future, she said, “I have special interests in nutrition, food insecurity, preventative medicine, hospital management, as well as global health. I am seriously considering business school to earn my MBA. I feel as though Georgetown has really helped me to pinpoint these passions and foster them inside and outside the classroom.”
“How exactly I’ll pursue my passions is unclear, but I am confident I’ll make a difference somewhere one day,” Dyer said.
By Bill Cessato
- Health Equity