HEOP, health studies
Karla Perez '20 Siena Alumni

Karla Perez '20 truly embodies what it means to be Siena Saint. With the world facing unprecedented times, she is playing an important role in the world of Public Health working with the New York State Department of Health’s Office of Health Insurance Programs. There, she is working on projects to make healthcare more accessible to low-income individuals, pregnant women, minorities, and several other groups.

"It is quite an interesting and truly 'special' time to be working in the field of Public Health and I am especially thankful to play a role in the public health community as the U.S and the world continues to face many public health hardships."

Karla is doing this all while pursuing her Masters of Public Health in Health Policy and Management. She hopes to become a healthcare administrator to ensure quality healthcare for ALL people. 

An experience during an internship in an orthopedic surgeon’s office was the foundation for Karla's desire to go onto this field. She says she saw a non-English speaking elderly woman being discriminated against by administration.

"After this experience, I grew angry at knowing that injustice lies in a place (healthcare facilities) that are supposed to be especially safe, welcoming, and respectful to individuals."

During her time at Siena, Karla was a part of the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Program (HEOP) which is an academic support services program that provides access to a valuable college education.