Internship Stories: Brooke Coskuner

Brooke Coskuner (MPH'23)
September 20, 2022

Merhabalar! My name is Brooke Coskuner, and I am a second-year graduate student, pursuing a Master of Public Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. My degree is focused on Health Policy and Management with a concentration in Global Health. As a part of my three-month practicum, I had the opportunity to work on the REACH project at Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul during the summer. REACH is a regional initiative of Columbia University’s Center for Sustainable Development that aims to bridge the gap in health literacy and health care access among refugee and local youth living in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan through a digital health application. Turkey hosts one of the largest refugee and migrant populations in the world, and this brings challenges of accessing healthcare for local youth and migrants living in the area. Therefore, it was an honor to be part of an important mission that improves access to health care on a large scale and to work alongside my wonderful supervisor Dr. Özge Karadağ, Senior Researcher for Columbia University’s Center for Sustainable Development and co-leader of the REACH project.

Brooke Coskuner

The projects that I took on involved doing research for a scientific publication and contributing to articles regarding health care access for refugee and local youth. I learned the process of researching for a publication and the different perspectives that surround forced migration in Turkey. Additionally, I was able to visit project partners including the Istanbul University campus and the Bulut Öncü Youth Center in Izmir. During these visits, I gained a better understanding of the REACH project's inner workings and how project partners collaborated to support the overall mission. 

Working with the incredible team at Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul and the REACH project was truly memorable, as everyone was so welcoming, insightful, and supportive. This valuable experience has strengthened my interest in working in the field of global health, particularly addressing access to health care in forced migration settings. Working on the REACH project in Istanbul has been an eye-opening experience, as I learned that digital health technologies can be an effective solution to addressing inequality in health care access.

To read more about reach events, click here.