Ryan Thomas, who is in his final year of the Master of Public Health Program in Health Management and Policy (HMP), received a $5,000 Foster G. McGaw Master Student Scholarship award after hearing about the opportunity from an HMP faculty. Before attending SDSU, Ryan studied music, business, and nursing at UCLA for both undergraduate and graduate coursework. He is interested in veterans health, clinical quality improvement, primary care access, and music therapy. Ryan’s mom, who is an honorably discharged Air Force Flight RN and Captain, has been seriously ill throughout the COVID19 pandemic and it has been challenging for Ryan to help her navigate her care through an overwhelmed and often unorganized healthcare system. Ryan is passionate about driving change to improve clinical care for veterans like his mother. He was also awarded a scholarship from the Wallace, Shatsky, Blackburn, Courage Through Cancer Fund which is awarded to students at SDSU whose education may be affected by a cancer diagnosis. Ryan is extremely grateful for the support provided from SDSU community members.
Ryan is also a lifelong jazz musician and teaches music in his spare time. He enjoys outdoor activities and has made it his goal to find the best burrito in San Diego. In his current internship role, Ryan is responsible for designing and curating all clinical needs for senior veteran members and is currently writing the clinical playbook for Flagship Health, a health enterprise designed to deliver cutting-edge primary health services to veteran seniors and their spouses through Medicare Advantage Plans. The clinical playbook will be used as the guideline for all clinical procedures at Flagship Health’s primary care clinic locations.
Ryan wants to combine his experience in the arts and sciences to become a trustworthy and well-rounded leader and an outstanding public health professional who can enact positive change within our healthcare system. He wants to remind his fellow graduate students to prioritize their mental and physical health and to reach out to fellow students and faculty if they need extra support.