CISS Practicum: Researching How Pension Policy Affects Elderly Health

July 27, 2022

Claudia Michaels, Master of Public Health (MPH) candidate at Mailman, has arrived in Chile and will stay for six months to research how pension policy can affect health indicators of older adult health and mortality.

Michaels, who will review past and recent social policy reforms in Latin America and Europe, is one of the five graduate students from the Mailman School of Public Health that are in Chile to perform their global practicums with Universidad Mayor’s Research Center on Society and Health (CISS). She will work under the direction of professor Esteban Calvo.

“I was drawn to this project because I am interested in the intersections of policy and health,” she says. “This project is grounded in the social determinants of health, since income security is a crucial factor in ensuring the highest attainable standard of health in older adults. My hope is that this research informs future pension reforms that prioritize population health, especially since the global older adult population is increasing rapidly. The project has also allowed me to practice my data analysis skills, as I am working with several large, cross-national datasets. I’m excited to be further developing my knowledge of coding.”

The MPH candidate in the Department of Health Policy and Management, with a certificate in Global Health, previously studied Spanish so she says she has been enjoying learning more about Chilean history and reading up on Chilean authors such as Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda. In her free time, she has been exploring Chilean cuisine, with favorites including empanadas de pino and alfajores for dessert.