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It Takes Two: NWCPHP Welcomes Meghan Fitzpatrick and Megan Hawthorne

NWCPHP is excited to welcome Meghan Fitzpatrick, who will be taking over the role of Communications Specialist, and Megan Hawthorne, who joins us as our new Communications Research Assistant.
It Takes Two: NWCPHP Welcomes Meghan Fitzpatrick and Megan Hawthorne

Meghan Fitzpatrick (left) and Megan Hawthorne (right) recently joined NWCPHP's communications team.

NWCPHP is excited to welcome Meghan Fitzpatrick, who will be taking over the role of Communications Specialist, and Megan Hawthorne, who joins us as our new Communications Research Assistant.

January 22, 2013

Why settle with one, when you can have two? As we ring in the new year, NWCPHP is excited to welcome Meghan Fitzpatrick as Communications Specialist and Megan Hawthorne as Communications Research Assistant.

Meghan FitzpatrickMeghan Fitzpatrick
Writing and Design as Vehicles for Social Justice
Ever since she was young, Meghan Fitzpatrick has been interested in social justice, in particular, issues surrounding poverty, homelessness, and mental health. Recently, she has gained a passion for eldercare issues, especially the lack of community-based support for older adults and their caretakers.

“This passion for volunteerism and helping others has always been a driving force behind everything I do,” Fitzpatrick explains. “I knew I wanted to work for an organization dedicated to making a difference, one that strives to create positive change in the community. I’m very excited to be working at NWCPHP, improving public health on a macro level by acting as a conduit between the worlds of academia and practice.”

In addition to a BA in Public Relations from Gonzaga University, Fitzpatrick has a certificate in Fundraising Management from the University of Washington and a certificate in Graphic Design from Bellevue College. Prior to joining NWCPHP, Fitzpatrick worked as a marketing and communications coordinator at Full Life Care and in corporate communications for Puget Sound Energy.

She brings experience writing and designing for a wide variety of audiences, particularly in the health care and nonprofit sectors. Fitzpatrick will help support the strategic marketing and communication efforts of NWCPHP.

“I’m very interested in the power of visual and written communication,” says Fitzpatrick. “When done correctly, it has the power to educate, persuade, and invoke a response or change. I’m looking forward to working for such a vital organization, one that has the ability to really impact the health of communities on a large scale.”

Megan HawthorneMegan Hawthorne
Beyond Skinny Jeans to Broader Health Benefits
After receiving a BS in Genetics and Cell Biology from Washington State University and serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member for a social service agency in Olympia, Megan Hawthorne found herself at the next step in her career—interviewing for genetic counseling programs. While job shadowing counselors, she became frustrated by the numerous barriers she saw patients encounter, from limited knowledge of genetic implications to logistical constraints with insurance companies. This experience spurred her to switch her focus to a larger scale.

“I am fascinated by how our growing knowledge of genetics, especially epigenetics, might be used to inform decision-making that leads to healthier populations,” explains Hawthorne. “For example, in the past, my main motivation to eat healthily might have been to fit into my skinny jeans, but now that I am aware of how diet and exercise affect gene regulation and ultimately my long-term health, that’s a much more powerful motivator.”

Now, as a first-year masters student in the public health genetics program at the University of Washington, Hawthorne is looking forward to bringing her knowledge of public health genetics and experience with program implementation and evaluation to NWCPHP. Hawthorne will help spearhead a project to analyze all of NWCPHP's communications efforts.

“I am excited to discover how academia and public health practice interact on a large scale to positively influence health, and the hugely important role communications play in this interaction,” says Hawthorne.

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