Omari Richins, founder of The Public Health Millennial, joins us on this episode to share his public health journey. Omari currently holds the position of health improvement program officer for the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, prior to which he worked in Alaska for 14 months during the COVID-19 pandemic as a community health fellow for the Mat-Su Health Foundation. In our conversation, Omari shares why he decided to pursue a master’s in public health after realizing that he could have a much broader impact on communities than if he were a medical doctor, and how he first discovered the field of public health philanthropy. We discuss how public health philanthropy differs from other public health initiatives and why it’s so important for more individuals with a master’s in public health to work in the field of public health philanthropy. We hear from Omari about how he started The Public Millennial blog and how he gradually grew his online presence and gained more followers. He explains how his online presence has helped him build relationships and why it’s important to be motivated by something other than gaining followers. Finally, Omari shares valuable advice and tips for students and graduates, most notably the importance of not getting too comfortable and how to build a network. For all this and much more, tune in to the full episode!
Omari Richins, MPH is a public health thought partner who blogs and podcasts under the platform: The Public Health Millennial (thePHmillennial.com). Omari works as a Health Improvement program officer for the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. As a program officer, he works deeply in community to improve health and well-being, focusing on groups that have been marginalized, using an equity and population health lens. Through the Trust’s Healthy Places NC work, Omari engages with residents in some of North Carolina’s most vibrant yet underserved communities, to ensure that everyone has a seat at the table in improving their community’s health and well-being. Prior to this role, Omari worked as a Community Health Fellow at the Mat-Su Health Foundation after graduating with his Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Health Management and Policy from the University of Florida.
Omari’s journey to public health and how he heard about the program.
Why Omari decided to pursue public health when he realized he could have a bigger impact on people’s health than if he were a doctor.
How the field of public health philanthropy is distinct from other public health initiatives.
Philanthropic public health initiatives have more flexibility, but fewer funds than governmental health initiatives.
Why more people with a master’s in public health should work in public health philanthropy.
Why it’s important to have more people of color working in public health.
How Omari started The Public Health Millennial and how he built a following.
The fortuitous timing of starting The Public Health Millennial a year before the pandemic.
How Omari has remained motivated to maintain his online presence out of a desire to help people, rather than having a high amount of followers.
Omari shares the story of how he started his podcast when he was going through difficulties in his personal life.
Why it’s important to elevate the visibility of a career in public health.
The benefit of having various public health podcasts.
Omari shares his advice and career tips for students and graduates.
How to leverage social media to get into certain positions.
Listen To This Podcast Episode
Career Advice to Public Health Students
1) Build your brand
2) Prioritize being uncomfortable
3) Don't be afraid to change your mind
Career Advice to Public Health Graduates and Professionals
1) Making relationships are your #1 friend.
2) Get comfortable being uncomfortable
3) No ones priority but your own
Connect With Omari
Links Mentioned In This Episode
Work with Dr. Huntley