School of Health
News Story

Georgetown Sophomore Focuses on Health Policy to Create Change

January 26, 2021 – Reona Pereira (NHS’23) is a health care management & policy major. She is a member of the Lecture Fund and has leadership roles with GU Jawani and Georgetown Individuals Vocal and Energetic for Service (GIVES).

Pereira said, “One of my favorite parts about this school is how almost every student has a fascinating backstory that describes the reason behind their passions and what they’re pursuing at Georgetown. Everyone has grand goals to make the world a better place, and I have no doubt that they will fulfill each and every one of them.”

Reona Pereira (NHS’23) in a portrait-style photo standing in front of a door.
Reona Pereira (NHS’23) 

Question: Where did you grow up, and how did you learn about Georgetown? 

Pereira: I grew up right outside of Richmond, Virginia. My family and I used to make weekend daytrips up to the Georgetown neighborhood, which is how I learned about the school. But when it came to applying for colleges, Georgetown was on my radar because of its unique health care program and small student body. 

Question: What drew you to want to study in the health field? 

Pereira: I’ve always been interested in the human body. I remember asking my parents for books about how it worked even before I could fluently read. Whenever people would ask me what my dream job was, I would reply – ‘Doctor!’ – without hesitation and with a lot of excitement. 

However, after taking AP government in high school, I realized that politics is my true calling. This is why I am so drawn to the field of health care policy, which presents the perfect combination of my passion for medicine and my passion for policy. I hope to drive health care reform strategies and work to fix our fractured health care system by studying in the health field. 

Question: How are you enjoying the HCMP major and Georgetown? 

Pereira: Majoring in HCMP at Georgetown has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I honestly could not think of a better fit for my interests and goals for the future. I absolutely love the close-knit community the NHS fosters and the ability to get to really know your professors and classmates. 

I have enjoyed classes like “Healthcare in America,” “Healthcare Systems Economics,” and “Epidemiology.” One of my favorite parts about this school is how almost every student has a fascinating backstory that describes the reason behind their passions and what they’re pursuing at Georgetown. Everyone has grand goals to make the world a better place, and I have no doubt that they will fulfill each and every one of them. 

Question: Tell us about the activities you are involved in at Georgetown. 

Pereira: I currently serve as director of operations for the Georgetown Individuals Vocal and Energetic for Service (GIVES), where we plan and execute random acts of kindness to make our community friendlier and happier for everyone who’s part of it. I am also vice captain of GU Jawani, ‘Georgetown University’s premier South Asian dance troupe, made entirely of students.’

Apart from these two clubs, I am a member of Lecture Fund, a student-run organization that brings speakers to campus in order to foster dialogue and introduce our community to a variety of views, ideas, and people. I am actually organizing an event with Elizabeth Goodman, the executive vice president at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). She will be diving into the weeds of President Biden’s approach to COVID-19, what we can expect in terms of health care policy this year, and how the current makeup of our government will affect such policies. 

Question: What are your plans for the future?

Pereira: My big picture goal is to start my own health care consulting firm, with which I can provide health care policy research and analysis in order to advise clients how best to improve America’s health care system. On a smaller scale, I hope to get more consulting experience specifically in the field of women’s health care once I graduate from Georgetown. I am passionate about depoliticizing women’s health care and increasing access to services and menstrual products.