Irene Bell graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science. In May of 2021, she graduated from San Diego State University’s School of Public Health with a Master of Public Health in Health Management and Policy. Irene is interested in military mental health, foster youth health, education, recidivism, and access to healthcare in both higher-income and lower-income nations.
Irene’s passion for public health began after a mission trip to Papua New Guinea in 2019. She volunteered with the non-profit Youth With A Mission, which allowed her to travel to several islands and set up pop-up health clinics. She taught mothers, children, and community members the importance of various healthy habits with their available resources. Yet as she arrived back in the States, she knew there were still problems with access to equitable healthcare.
She wanted the opportunity to improve military health for service members and their families and was selected for a Healthcare Administrator scholarship program through the United States Navy during graduate school. Irene also joined the Navy for the possibility of being chosen to serve on the Mercy or Comfort— Naval Medical Ships. In the past, these ships have traveled to low-income nations to provide health services, something she could only dream of being her job.
She is currently stationed in Cuba, serving as a Healthcare Administrator for Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay. She is a Naval Officer, Lieutenant Junior Grade. There are not many scenarios, outside of the military, where a 24-year-old who recently graduated with their Master’s degree becomes the Department Head of Human Resources at a hospital. However, she is inspired by all the leaders, lessons, and tools she has learned at SDSU, specifically in the Health Management and Policy program. She is excited to continue learning and has started to research DrPH programs.