Oluwatosin Olateju, MS, RNPosition:

Community Health Nurse Program Supervisor: Reproductive Health and HIV 

Place of work:

Howard County Health Department (HCHD)

Can you describe how you apply community/public health nursing in your work?

Given that my work is at the forefront of public health, I am constantly applying the knowledge of community/public health nursing to my role as Reproductive and HIV Program Supervisor at Howard County Health Department.  I conduct routine needs assessments and use logic models to develop new programs at HCHD, e.g., Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT), and Syringe Services Program (SSP). I enjoy working with our Informational and Educational Material Review team to create pamphlets and handouts that we distribute to patients onsite and during outreach events. I evaluate our programs periodically, taking into consideration feedback received from patients and staff, and make recommendations for improvements. I conduct research on evidence-based practices in public health and determine how we can adopt some of those practices to improve our programs. I create and manage our program budgets and ensure that quarterly budget reports are submitted to state and federal funders. I analyze reproductive health and HIV epidemiological data on a monthly basis and record the data in a centralized database. I supervise clinic operations, including supplies and staffing. I prepare quarterly programmatic reports and annual plans for my programs. I assure staff compliance with standards of care, make recommendations for improvement, and evaluate the performance of assigned staff. And finally, I partner with other health departments and service providers within and outside Howard County to ensure that our patients get the best care needed.

How did UMSON’s Community/Public Health master’s specialty prepare you for your current position?

The CPH program prepared me for my current position in several ways I did not even anticipate until I started taking on various projects in my current role. Looking back now, the majority of the classes I took have all equipped me to become a competent public health leader, an educator, and a preceptor for graduate public health students from different schools. From day one of my CPHN program at University of Maryland, I knew I was interested in local and global impact of HIV; I stuck with my passion and did a lot of individual and group projects on HIV. My main focus was improving engagement and retention in HIV care for people living with HIV. Fortunately, my program planning/leadership practicum site served individuals living with HIV. I was also lucky to have the support of my advisor, some faculty members, and some of my fellow students all throughout the program. As a result of the overwhelming support I received from faculty members and my continued passion for public health, I have decided to further my education in the field of public health by pursing a doctorate degree in Public Health.

I encourage current students of the CPH program to have a focus, as it helps to smooth the transition to public health leadership positions after graduation.