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September 7, 2016

PHII welcomes new Senior Informatics Analyst

As PHII continues to scale up its staff, the Institute is pleased to welcome Nosipho Beaufort on board. In her new role as Senior Informatics Analyst, Nosipho will be working with the Practice Support team to lend her expertise to informatics projects.

Nosipho comes to PHII with 12 years of public health experience at the state and federal level under her belt. Her work has spanned hepatitis prevention, public health training and Ebola response. How did this illustrious public health career begin? “I kind of wandered into it,” admits Nosipho.

By the time Nosipho finished her B.A. in psychology at Carleton College in Minnesota over a decade ago, she knew she didn’t want to stay in the psychology field. However, she did know after finishing her senior thesis –which focused on issues of prejudice and disparity—that she wanted to find a way to devote her professional life to alleviating inequity. Her search for the right role led her to the Florida Department of Health, where she worked with hepatitis education and HIV/AIDS prevention programs.

“Health equity got me into public health, and it’s what kept me in,” says Nosipho. She moved on from Florida to SciMetrika and then Deloitte. While at these consulting companies, Nosipho worked with various centers and offices within the CDC, conducting work ranging from drafting congressional justifications for Ebola project spending to scaling up Hepatitis B vaccination efforts.

“Health equity got me into public health, and it’s what kept me in.”

- Nosipho Beaufort

Throughout her work, Nosipho found herself constantly working to open channels of communication within public health. She noticed that many inefficiencies and frustrations of public health work seemed to stem from different entities talking past each other. She found herself asking the question, “How can we get people on the same page?”

This question became especially relevant when Nosipho was working in hepatitis prevention. In an effort to reduce hepatitis infections in  Florida jails, Nosipho and her team attempted to partner health departments with their local jails—but  they kept encountering a wall. Uncertain why she kept hearing a very firm “no,” Nosipho dug deeper and uncovered that jails were reluctant to let health departments in because they interpreted the disease prevention efforts as “special treatment” for the inmates. Once Nosipho understood their perspective, she was able to address officials’ concerns and eventually she and her team succeeded in implementing hepatitis prevention efforts in 15 county jails across Florida.

A decade into her public health career, Nosipho began an MPH program at UNC Chapel Hill. Having already worked across levels of public health and on a diverse range of projects, “my MPH essentially credentialed those years of my life,” says Nosipho. She graduated earlier this year, ending a three-year period of her life balancing a full-time job, a master’s program and parenting.

“I just finished my MPH, so I’m just now rediscovering hobbies,” Nosipho says. When she’s not at work or ferrying her 15-year-old son to athletic practice, she enjoys travelling and reading. She particularly enjoys non-fiction centered on historical figures. “If you look at the history books, there are these perfect people who made perfect decisions,” says Nosipho. “But if you look at the primary documents, they really were regular people, just like anyone else. Just as petty, just as small-minded.” Most recently, Nosipho finished a book about Alexander Hamilton.

For now, she’s looking forward to her new role with PHII. “I like the idea of having more of a sense of ownership over my projects going forward, which isn’t always available with contract work.”

Piper Hale, MPH

Assistant Director of Communications