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2020-2021 CHCI-Bristol Myers Squibb Health Graduate Fellow

Hometown: Alamogordo, New Mexico
School: University of New Mexico
Degree: Master of Public Health, Master of Latin American Studies
Placement One: Bristol Myers Squibb
Placement Two: U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health

Devon Lara was born and raised in Alamogordo, New Mexico. She graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. While shadowing a primary care physician in a predominantly Latinx Spanish-speaking neighborhood, she was exposed to the intricacies in health policy and their effects on minority populations. This experience motivated her to continue studying the intersection of public health policy and Latinx communities. She attended graduate school, obtaining both a Master of Public Health and a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies also from the University of New Mexico. She was the first student to be accepted into and graduate from this dual-degree program.

During her graduate school time, she also worked as a lead clinical research coordinator and a research laboratory specialist in neurosurgery research managing pre-clinical and clinical trials. From these experiences, she learned about the marketing of drugs on a national and global scale, but just as significant, the necessity for diversity in medical research to better address health disparities in marginalized populations. She went on to join the CHCI Bristol Myers Squibb fellowship focusing on policy issues related to the access of medication and the regulatory policies of U.S. health infrastructures, including insurance, the FDA, and social, federal, and state programs.

As a CHCI Fellow, Devon hopes to pursue her health policy passion and enhance her career development and leadership skills. Her program goals are to hone her communication skills, establish a working rapport with leading health and policy experts, and enrich her knowledge in public policy.