JANUARY 10, 2022 — When Joseph Lindsey ’18 embarked on a new job with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in New York City, he was ready to put his degrees to work on important, possibly groundbreaking medical research.
Then, he saw his assignment: the Bureau of Tuberculosis Control at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
“I got my assignment and I thought, what do they mean TB? In the United States?” he recalled. “But I started looking at the TB rates in New York City and they are wild. It’s very endemic.”
His initial dismay quickly turned into stress as he dove into a niche part of the disease — multidrug and extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR/XDR-TB). This crash-course in tuberculosis, drug susceptibility testing and genomic sequencing—done remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic—taught Lindsey the ins and outs of the disease and how to interpret bacteriological testing.
Lindsey’s day-to-day work includes epidemiological surveillance, specifically pertaining to multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, creating policy and procedures for area clinics that treat TB, and working in one of the Bureau’s Chest Clinics performing HIV testing and assisting with telehealth enrollment.
“It was very difficult at first,” Lindsey said. “But I felt very supported by my supervisors and mentors, and now that I’m in the thick of it, I am very happy and have learned a tremendous amount.”
Lindsey never imagined he’d be living in New York and working for the CDC when he entered UTSA with plans to be a doctor. He enrolled in UTSA’s public health program, assuming it was pre-med adjacent, but soon realized the scope of public health and all it had to offer.
“The reason I wanted to go into medicine was to help people,” Lindsey said. “Medicine is very much focused on helping that one person in front of you. Public health addresses everything on a systemic level and I really liked that idea.”
Once he completed his B.S. in public health from UTSA, Lindsey earned his M.P.H. focused in community-oriented primary care from George Washington University. After graduating, he discovered the CDC Public Health Associate Program, a two-year paid training program to gain hands-on experience that serves as the foundation for a public health career.
Public health’s upstream approach to preventing disease stays in Lindsey’s mind daily as he touches on all aspects of tuberculosis prevention at the CDC and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Although he plans on pursuing physician assistant studies in the future, he cautions anyone entering public health with medicine in mind.
“Public health is more than a stepping stone to medicine — it’s a field within itself,” Lindsey said. “If you do want to go into medicine though, translate your knowledge in terms of the different levels of prevention, rather than staying focused on treatment, to how you as a provider can become a public health-based practitioner.”
Lindsey’s message is particularly timely for the newly-formed College for Health, Community and Policy at UTSA. Although he graduated before its formation, his message of practicing medicine for the betterment of the community is one of the college’s core missions.
“Something I did a lot in my program is community-based participatory research and that is really what opened my eyes to just how important it is to involve the community in every single decision-making process,” Lindsey said. “They need to be the number one stakeholder in any decision that’s made for their health.”
The Racial Justice Book Club was established at UTSA by members of the campus community to explore social justice following acts of racial violence across the nation over the last few years. We are reading The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas by Monica Muñoz Martinez. We will meet every Wednesday in September and October at 2 pm on Zoom.Virtual Event
We invite you to learn about the process of screenwriting and explore the intersection of identity and pursuing dreams from Jorge Ramirez-Martinez and Raymond Perez, screenwriters for the Selena: The Series, released on Netflix. They will discuss their careers and writing process, including how their identities as Mexican American and gay men have shaped their professional experiences.Virtual Event
Please join us in remembering those who have entered the next part of life by designing a nicho box in their memory. This workshop will provide the necessary items to create your nicho box, though please remember to bring a photo or small object that can fit in a 3.5 x5x1 inch box (small jewelry box).John Peace Library GroupSpot B, Main Campus
Come celebrate the end of Hispanic Heritage Month with La Comunidad at The University of Texas at San Antonio. We will have food, games and dancing!H-E-B Student Union Ballroom 1 & 2, Main Campus
LMSA invites you to join us in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month through an interactive cooking lesson! This cultural experience will teach you how to prepare a popular Mexican dish, street taquitos. You will be able to sample this dish and learn the recipe to use in your own home.Recreation Wellness Center Demo Kitchen
Future Roadrunners will see what Roadrunner life is all about at UTSA Day. All of Main Campus transforms into our UTSA Day open house for Future Roadrunners and their families to explore the university experience.Main Campus
Learn about the LGBTQIA+ community and being an Ally and advocate for LGBTQIA+ people, communities, and the issues that impact the LGBTQIA+ community.Multicultural Student Center for Equity and Justice Lounge, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.